How To: Easy Lamp Makeover & Spray Painting Tips

Spraypaint lamp makeover
Do you ever wonder how or why you have objects in your home that you’ve never liked? I have a set of bedside lamps that I have always hated. They were my parent’s, bought in the early 80’s when bronze stuff was really ‘hot’. I never liked them then, yet I managed to inherit them as a teenager and they have followed me to several homes. I’m cripplingly thrifty you see, and because they still worked fine, throwing them out was not an option. I thought new lamp shades would help, but it didn’t, so as a last resort, out came the spray paint!
Check out the before and after, and some spray painting tips below.

You will need:

Spraypaint lamp makeover

  • Lamp base
  • Spray primer
  • Enamel spray paint
  • Masking tape and Plastic
  • Large box
  • Protective mask and clothing

How to:

Spraypaint lamp makeover

Mask off all areas of lamp you don’t want to spray. Make sure you wrap the cord fully so it’s protected and out of the way.
Set up your box out side (and make sure you don’t have washing on the line nearby!)
Following the tips below, spray your bases with primer first and when thoroughly dry, with your coloured enamel.

Spraypaint lamp makeover

Be patient when spraying. Light coats from multiple angles will give a better result. Allow your paint to dry fully before removing tape.
All done!

Spraypaint lamp makeover

What do you think of the result?
I think it’s a vast improvement, although the colour is a little dark for the off white lampshades we have at the moment. I’m on the lookout for some shades that are suitable for recovering.
The spray fumes where quite overwhelming, so I took several hours to apply all the coats, and I was really getting a headache by the end. The primer fumes seemed to be the worst.
As you can see from my picture above, I did manage to get some overspray! I thought I was masking off carefully, but obviously not careful enough!

Spraypaint lamp makeover
Spraypaint lamp makeover

Spray Painting Tips:

  • Preparation – Clean your object well before painting to remove dust and oil. The better the condition of the original surface, the better the final result will be.
  • Mask off all areas of your object that you don’t want to paint. Be thorough, that paint mist gets everywhere.
  • Work in a well ventilated area, outside is best. Paint fumes are nasty, so make sure you keep your children and pets well away. Protect yourself by wearing a mask, old clothes and gloves.
  • Protect from over spray by using a large box laid on it’s side as a spray booth. It’s also a good idea to cover nearby objects with plastic or paper.
  • Spray several thin light coats as opposed to one thick coat which can lead to drips.
  • Follow instructions on can for recommended drying and re-coat times.
  • Use a primer undercoat if possible, to achieve the best results on most surfaces.
  • Leave your project to dry in a well ventilated, dust free area.


  • Agy says:

    Thank you for sharing. I've never thought about using a box as a protective cover when spraying. I usually use newspaper, and when the wind blows – oops!

  • Cathy Voyage says:

    Me, too, the box is such a good idea!

  • Alli says:

    These are great tips, thanks so much for sharing. I've wanted to try more spray painting but have always got it everywhere in the past, the box is a great idea. Thanks.

  • Miss Cinti - my poppet says:

    I haven't pictured it here, but i did most of my spraying with the side flaps of the box out, which helped contain the over spray even more.

  • Melissa says:

    this is such a pretty color! i love vintage things! especially from the 80s!

    – melissa

  • Elaine says:

    Great DIY’s for things that may have ended up in the garbage!! Thanks for sharing!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.