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Aug 9, 2013

lamp makeover

This week I've been working on a project that I am excited to share! Mostly because it was quick, easy and something I think most of you can do, too! I've had this outdated brass lamp sitting around for a while. I think it came from my grandpa's condo. It did not mesh well with what I have in mind for my office.

I decided to say goodbye to the brass and give it an oil rubbed bronze finish. I was going to buy a new shade for the lamp too but decided to try and cover it in jute I had left over from my wedding. I think it turned out quite well! The jute adds a nice, rustic touch.

I sanded some of the edges on the lamp after I painted to give it some texture. 

This project cost me nothing since I already had all of the materials on hand! Even the paint. All the hardware in our house is oil rubbed bronze so we keep a can of it around in case we have to paint something to match. 

To try this on your own you'll need:

- a can of spray primer
- a can of a spray paint that matches the finish of your preference (they make all kinds of metallics 
[I used Rust-Oleum in metallic oil rubbed bronze]
- rubbing alcohol
- microfiber cloth
- drop cloth (optional)
- latex gloves (optional)
- sandpaper (optional)

- hot glue gun and sticks
- roll of jute twine or rope
- scissors

I started out by removing the knobs and shade from the lamp. The knob that holds the lamp shade on needed to be painted. Put the on/off knob in a safe place. Mine is currently lost at the moment! 

Next I wiped down the surfaces with the micro fiber cloth and the alcohol.

I didn't really need to tape anything off since I wanted everything to be the same color. I did stick a shop rag in the bulb socket so it wouldn't get ruined from the paint.

Now the lamp is already for primer! I just sprayed on a thin, quick coat of primer. I used a basic metal primer my husband had in his shop cabinet.

I let the primer dry for several hours. I then applied a coat of the metallic oil rubbed bronze paint. I used light strokes about a foot away. I didn't apply a second coat. I did a quick check for any touching up needed.

After the paint was completely dry, I took a piece of sand paper and rubbed the paint off some of the edges to give the lamp some texture. I used a coarse grit after the fine grit wasn't working too well.

While the paint was drying, I decided to work on the lamp shade!

I gathered up my supplies and let the glue gun warm up. I use a kid's gun. I tend to burn myself with an adult gun :)

To start covering the lamp with jute horizontally, I put a dab of glue on top of the lamp and applied the end of the rope to it.

I then put another dab of glue about three inches apart and laid the rope across. I repeated this process for about 3-4 layers. Eventually, when I had a good start going, I only put a dab of glue every few layers instead. I bet you could do almost the whole lamp without glue, but I wanted to make sure it stayed in place. Just keep wrapping it around and around. When I had the whole lamp covered, I created three vertical accent braids to add some texture. When you get to the last layer, snip off your rope at an angle and add a dab of glue. Make it blend into the weave.

I like how it turned out. It's not perfect but it sure looks a lot better than it did! I think the colors go nicely up against my beige office wall.

Lamp photography is really hard. It may even be harder than food photography.....

So what do you have laying around that you want to spray paint and spruce up? Keep this in mind for garage sale finds too! If you don't like the jute lamp shade idea, you can always buy a new one or cover the old one in something else besides jute! 

I'm not responsible for anyone's lamp shades catching on fire....


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