There are some things from the eighties that have come back around in terms of style. I’m thinking of hula hoops and roller skates, leggings and leg warmers, neon and tropical prints. Having worn some the first time round, I still see the appeal now too. But the peach colour of the eighties, mottled or stencilled on walls, or seen in bridesmaid dresses is not attractive to me!

I found this lamp in a local charity shop. It was a large ceramic lamp base with a great shape, without a shade.

charity shop lamp, upcycled at

It looks pinker in the photo above than in reality. It even had a crackle glaze effect.

lamp from eighties

It reminded me of something like this:

eighties bridesmaid dress
image: pinterest. A host of etsy sellers have similar dresses for sale. Someone must like them?

Which is probably why I passed it by the first time. But I still liked the shape, it was a bargain price for a lamp of that size, it had brass hardware and had been electricity checked by the store. I had some ideas about what I could do with it to improve it. Operation lamp up cycle was on.

Upcycled Lamp

I bought some spray paint at the DIY store and whilst I was there they had a shade on sale that was the perfect size for the lamp.

lamp to be upcycled

I used spray radiator enamel gloss. Like this one on Amazon. Affiliate link for you.


The how-to bit.

I masked the hardware at the top of the lamp and the cable where it joined the lamp. I put a disposable plastic dust sheet on my lawn, held it down with some flowers pots and sprayed the lamp according to the can’s instructions. It took about 3 coats of paint, but was touch dry within half an hour between each coat, as you are supposed to recoat with in 4 hours or after 36 hours. I still have paint left over too.

The shade was reduced because it was dirty, at first I had ideas of cleaning it and embellishing. I tried that but I think it had a dirty thread running through the fabric. It wouldn’t come clean. Then I thought that I would stain it with tea, but the thread showed through the tea staining.

I covered it eventually with some cotton dust sheet fabric! I rolled the shade on the fabric and cut out a slight curved shape with a 5 cm hem top and bottom. I created a false hem at the original shade seam by folding under an edge of the fabric and gluing it down with hi-tack glue. I then trimmed down the hems to about a centimetre and glued them to the lampshade rim just inside the shade. I used small pegs to hold in place until the glue took.

I added some ribbon trim that I think gives a bit of a nautical feel. Here’s the finished item.

Upcycled lamp.

The bit other craft bloggers might not tell you 😉

To be honest, it could probably do with another coat of paint in one patch, and the ribbon is slightly wonky, and the tea stain shows through the fabric when the light is on, but you’d never notice the paint unless I pointed it out, I’ll redo the ribbon one day and the tea stain is at the back. But I LOVE IT. A lamp this size would cost £50-£100 new and this cost me a fraction of that. I up cycled a slightly sad eighties lamp, donated to charity and had fun being creative in my home. What is not to love?



You might like these lamp and lampshade posts:

copper and glass lampshade
Copper ring lampshade
petal lampshade
Petal floral lampshade
How to make a ribbon lampshade
How to make a ribbon lampshade


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Upcycled lamp with spray paint
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One thought on “Upcycled lamp with spray paint

  • 24th March 2017 at 9:08 am

    Hi Abi – Just thought i would add to this. I have to matching porcelain lamps in my lounge that I have repainted a few times already depending on the accent colour in my lounge – I just love it ! However, we all know how expensive lampshades can be and one is not always lucky enough to find the colour that you are looking for to match your lounge or bedroom colour scheme. So, that did differently from you, I painted my lampshades ! Works a treat … Colour match what i want and have it mixed … bingo 🙂

    Give it a try …. good luck


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