One of the perks of buying your very first house is that you can finally “customize” your home and make it feel… well, homey and welcoming. One of the downsides of buying your very first home is that you probably don’t have a lot of money left over to buy “homey” and “welcoming” items.That is my dilemma right now. I want so much to beautify our new house and make it feel like home, but the reality is that our “house-stuff” budget is pretty much non-existent. I’m sure that most of you have been, or will be, in the exact same situation at some point, so you can relate!
To combat my lack-of-funds/nesting urge, I’ve been trying to find ways to make what we have work. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out so well, but sometimes it does. And suddenly I have a way to decorate the house on a thrifty budget!
I would love to be able to afford pretty new lamps for our bedroom, but there are many other things higher on the budget totem pole. Rather than stick with the current look though, I decided to give our bedroom lamp a makeover. This seems like such a little thing, but it has made such a difference for us. It turned out so well that I thought I would share it with you.
We’ve had this lamp for as long as I can remember. I probably stole it from my parents right out of college because I was broke, but needed a lamp. And then I just never got around to replacing it with a prettier version because there were more important things to spend money on first, like new tires for the car or paying off student loan debt. So we’ve used the lamp just like it is for years now. Isn’t the green shade pretty? (That was sarcastic by the way.)
It’s hard to tell in the picture, but the base is wood with a forest green column. I was hesitant to paint it because I didn’t want it to look worse than it already did. But black is kind of fool-proof as far as colors go so I decided to give it a try.
I had black spray paint on hand from a previous project, so I wiped down the base, taped off the light socket at the top and around the electrical cord and spray painted it. After letting it dry, I gave it a second coat to give it solid coverage. I’d been keeping an eye out for a new lampshade, and I decided on this white drum shade. I really like the look and the quality of the lampshade, and I knew it would complement the black base nicely!
After the paint dried I couldn’t wait to put the lamp together, and when I did I LOVED the new look!
All in all, this tiny lamp makeover took me 5 minutes to do (with about 2 hours of drying time, 1 for each coat). The total cost of the project was $9.99 (just the cost of the lampshade, since I already had the spray paint on hand). For $10, the makeover was totally worth it! It would have cost me another $20 just to buy a lamp base of a similar size and look, so I saved $20!
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention sanding the base before I painted it. Yeah… I didn’t. If you decide to makeover one of your lamps, definitely sand it first to rough it up so the paint sticks. One of the reasons I had to do 2 coats of paint was because it wasn’t sticking, or even drying, on one part of the base. (I held the spray can too close the lamp, so the paint went on too thick and started dripping down the lamp, then had trouble drying. No idea why!)
I had to wipe the paint off of that spot (the rest of the base was perfectly dry), wait for the one spot to dry completely, then repaint it. Just for reference, my lamp has a wood base with a plastic “column”. A lamp with a glass or metal base will probably need sanding and priming to help the paint adhere, though I’m no expert so do your research.
It worked out well in the end. The lamp has been sporting its new look for about a month now and no problems with the paint or the lampshade! I could have sanded the drips, then repainted, but I don’t mind them. They kind of add character!
I love the way the finished lamp turned out- it looks tons better than before, and it turned out so much better than I expected it to!
Do you have any little things in your home that could do with a thrifty makeover?