How to Spray Paint a Lamp

Got an old lamp that’s begging for an upgrade?

Years ago, I pilfered an elephant lamp from my parents. When its lampshade ripped during some move or another, I just kind of shoved the lamp in the corner. When I finally found a wonderful replacement from Cruel Mountain Designs (an embarrassing number of months–erm, years–later), it became immediately clear that the lamp would need a revamp to do justice to the custom shade!

I don’t have “Before” pictures because the lamp was in a very sorry state. During a paint stripping phase last year (shout out to Citristrip!) I decided to strip the lamp, too.

Blurry Citristrip selfie!

I was left with a not entirely paint-blotch-free white brass elephant (due to my own laziness, not the effectiveness of the stripper). The color of the white brass totally clashed with the rosy gold in the new lampshade. So, I decided to go elegant with my elephant and paint the thing black.

Because I am semi-obsessed with DIY projects and Pinterest roads have led me to many pastures, I have no idea where I first saw the step-by-step instructions for how to spray paint a lamp. But, wherever it was, they were so simple that they stayed with me!

Here’s what I did:

  1. Make sure lamp is clean and free of all dust. I used a damp cloth. (Remember to unplug the lamp before cleaning!)
  2. Cover bulb hardware with a plastic bag. I left the bulbs in and was extra careful moving it.
  3. Secure bag and bulb hardware’s edge with painter’s tape. You will want a clean edge, so be sure to tape it carefully!
  4. Gather plug and cord in another plastic bag secured with painter’s tape. Same tip from above applies here.
  5. In a well-ventilated location (I used my roof, because: Brooklyn apartment) cover surface under the lamp to prevent damage. I used two Trader Joe’s shopping bags: cut to be fully expanded, then overlapped.
  6. Follow instructions on spray paint for best coverage. I sprayed three coats, and was done in about 15 minutes!

One hour later, I was happy to find my lamp still on the roof. 🙂

I popped the shade on, and have been enjoying it ever since!

 

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