November 03, 2016

How to Paint a Lamp - Shabby Chic

Lamps can be so expensive!?!  I mean you can easily drop $100 on a good lamp here in the Pacific Northwest.  For an average lamp, you're still looking at spending that same amount on a pair of them.  Well, this is your lucky day.  I'm here to tell you that you don't have to spend a fortune on a lamp or two that matches the style of your home.  In fact, you can even re-do those lamps you have in the house that don't seem to fit with your style anymore.

First off, your lamps do not have to match in each room.  In fact, it creates more interest and texture in a room when they don't.

In these next two photos you can see that NONE of my lamps actually match, yet they still go with the room and create a balance.

But a lamp like this one below, doesn't quite fit the look of the room or the light and bright feeling I am striving for.

So can start this project with any old lamp.   Find a set for cheap at a garage sale or thrift store, or pull out that set you put in the attic last year because you didn't know what to do with them.

I wanted to create a shabby chic look, and I wanted it to be light and bright.  So I chose to paint it white.  And with this project, chalk paint is the only way to go in my opinion.  It literally sticks to EVERYTHING.

I am still working on this can of linen white Rustoleum chalk paint from other projects, so I didn't have to buy anything.  You can buy it on Amazon and I have put a link below for your convenience.

I literally slapped it on, two coats.  Drying inbetween of course.  But no prep, no sanding, no cleaning.  I just started painting.

Here's what it looks like after 2 coats of the chalk paint.

 Next, I grabbed a sheet of 150 grit sandpaper out of my garage.  I always have some handy for my projects, but you could buy a sheet for less than a dollar if you don't have any.

The lower the number or 'grit' of sandpaper, the rougher the paper is.  So a 60 grit would have been too rough and would take off too much of the paint.  150 grit is a finer grit that works perfectly for this kind of project.  And I'll be honest, it's all trial and error.  I have had to repaint projects because I used the wrong grit!  But that's okay too, you can always repaint and do it again.

 I sanded just so it would wear through evenly all over the lamp.   

I may or may NOT have tried sanding this lamp in the living room while our family was watching the World Series last night?  It didn't go over very well. :)

That was literally it.  I didn't even seal it with wax or anything because it's a lamp and doesn't get alot of handling.


So don't buy new lamps, redo the ones you already have!  Or buy some cheap ones and fix them up.  You can even find lamp shades at the thriftstore or inexpensive discount stores that could give that lamp the finishing touch you are looking for.

Here's a few that I like that would look great on this lamp.  I plan to trade out the plain white when I find what I'm looking for.

Pewter Gray Bell Lamp Shade 8x14x11 (Spider) 
Lolli Living Lampshade, Grey Zig ZagAttractive 10" Drum Lamp Shade, Trellis Bronze | 10"L x 10"W x 12"H 

As always, please share your projects with me!  I would absolutely love to see and hear about your lamp redo project.  And if you ever have any questions, I would be more than happy to attempt an answer for you.  Have a great weekend!

November 02, 2016

Update your staircase on a Budget!

Our home was built in 1998.  Some of the finishes that were installed are very timeless with a Craftsman style.  Other finishes reflect the year of the home and show it's age.  The wood on our staircase was the old yellow oak finish that was so very popular in the 1990's and into the 20th century.  But the style of the banister is very classic and Craftsman. 

Often you will see in old farmhouses and even in some new homes built today that the staircase is all white.  I LOVE the white look as it feels fresh and bright and clean.

So today...was FINALLY the day to do it.  I felt like when you walked into my home it was the first thing you would see and that it made my home feel dated.  (Although I'm sure it was more me than anyone else with these thoughts)

Here are the BEFORE photos.

Honestly?  Part of why I put this off so long as it seemed like a tedious task that was going to take FOREVER!  But it didn't!  I did it in just a day.  Although it's not quite completely's all done.  

An afternoon with the kids at school and this lady can accomplish GREAT THINGS!

I started with my little cheat that I have shared in other posts before.  That I like to use chalk paint as my PRIMER!  For a staircase, chalk paint isn't as durable as a trim/cabinet/door paint so I didn't want to go that route.  I used the same techniques that I did on my kitchen cabinets.  You can find that tutorial by clicking below. 

I have found a chalk paint that is much less expensive than many other brands out there (like by almost $15 a quart!) and works just as well.  I'm using Rustoleum chalk paint in Linen White for this project.  You can buy it yourself on Amazon by clicking the link below.

I use a cheap brush that I can throw away if need be.  I've just learned to accept I'm one of those people that often forgets to clean my brushes.  After who knows how many expensive brushes over the years, I have resorted to keeping it simple.

After first cleaning with TSP (link below for product information), I applied a thin coat of the chalk paint to all the yellow oak on my staircase.

TSP Cleaner - CLICK HERE!!!

Then I finished with 2 coats of cabinet/trim/door paint.  Standard off the shelf white to match my interior trim.  I think it turned out great!

I can't tell you how much brighter and how fresh it feels compared to the yellowed oak.

Eventually I plan to take the carpet off those stairs and have wood stairs, but all in good time and one step at a time.

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, and as always...let me know if you take the plunge and take this project on yourself!  I'd love to see YOUR before and after photos.  

Blog Archive