Thrift Store Lamp Makeover

Hi there!

If you remember a few of weeks ago when I went to Salvation Army to buy something to make a top for my side table, I also bought a pair of old brass lamps.

My ugly brass thrift store lamps.

Yes, they are ugly but nothing a little paint can’t fix, right?! I struggled with choosing a colour. I was thinking white, then figured I would have a hard time with lamp shades. Then I thought grey, but that was the colour I wanted to paint our nightstands, which I have done – post coming soon! So I started searching Pinterest for ideas and came across Liz Marie’s ‘Waxed Lamp Makeover’, I loved the look of the lamps. Now I just had to get the lamps looking like wood. For that I knew where to turn, Lauren’s (Bless’er House – my favorite blogger) ‘How to Create a Weathered Wood Look With Paint’ tutorial.

What I needed to makeover the lamps:

  • A coco coloured chalk paint
  • An antique wax
  • White wax or white chalk paint


So, I headed to Home Depot for a sample pot of Behr Cocoa Shell in a matte finish to make my own chalk paint. Once I mixed up my chalk paint, I did two coats on the lamps and finials. Then I did one coat of ArtMinds Antique Wax, which is really more like paint, so I applied it in a dry brush method. I thought they looked really good at this point and contemplated leaving them but finally decided that they were a little too brown for me.

Left lamp, just chalk paint, right lamp, chalk paint and antique wax.

I couldn’t find white wax anywhere and I wasn’t shelling out $20-ish bucks for a small pot of wax. Instead, I dry brushed with some left over Rustoleum Chalked Paint in Linen White. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked how they turned out, but once I saw them in our bedroom, I fell in love.

The lamps with a dry brushed coat of white chalk paint.

The lamp shades are allen + roth 11-in x 15-in White Fabric Cone Lamp Shades from Lowe’s.

I love how they turned out, they look great on our nightstands.

Definitely the statement pieces I was looking for. The next project I have to tell you about is the nightstand makeover I did, right before these lamps.

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