My quest for new lamps came after realizing the conundrum I was in with my current lamp. It was a giant, over-sized pottery style lamp that was great as both a source of light and a room divider. The only problem? It needed a new shade to bring it out of 1991 and into 2012. Unfortunately, because of the fact that it was over-sized, all of the lampshades that I found to fit it were $25.00 or more. And if you know anything about me, you know that I am not going to spend $25.00 on a lampshade, especially if I am not in love with the lamp in the first place. Since I started working in the North Hills, I have been delighted to find that there is a Ross, Gabriel Brother's, Goodwill and Community Thrift Store all on my route to the paint store. This is wonderful for my crafting hobby, although not so good for my budget...At the thrift store one day, I happened upon these two old brass lamps:
Of course, I checked to make sure they were in working order first, but at this price, I couldn't leave them at the store!
As soon as I saw them, I knew I loved their shape, but I also knew they needed something to freshen them up and bring them into the new millenium. Luckily, I had some paint left over from another project (post about that coming soon!) that I knew would do just the trick. This paint is from Sherwin-Williams and it is called All-Surface Enamel. It comes in both Latex and Oil-based and is a very durable coating great for painting furniture or different substrates like metal. I also bought a quart the All-Surface Enamel Primer, which helped with adhering the paint to the slick surface of the metal and having a more durable finish at the end. To apply this, I just used a 2.5 inch angle brush. I prefer Purdy's model with the shortened handle, because I think it is much easier to control, but basically any brush would do the job. This is what the lamps looked like after the first coat of primer. Looking better already! For the finish coat, I used All Surface Enamel in High Gloss tinted to SW6464 Aloe, which is a pretty mint green color, right on trend with all of the mint green fashions I've been seeing on Pinterest! I also liked this color because it has a vintage feel that goes along with the vintage quality of the lamps. Here's what the color looked like after the first coat: To apply this, I used XIM Latex X-tender, a paint conditioning additive that extends the "wet edge" of the paint, allowing for brush and roller marks to level themselves out. I read a bunch of furniture painting blogs beforehand and they all strongly recommended using paint conditioners like this or Floetrol. For other furniture painting projects, this has worked very well for me and has made my final finish look much more professional. I think I may have added too much paint conditioner or something for this project because if you look very closely, you can see bubbles in the paint. From further away, they are not very noticeable and I am still very happy with the way these turned out! For anyone trying to do this project or use a paint conditioner on their own, I would recommend using very small amounts of paint conditioner (1/4 capful at a time) and testing how the paint spreads before adding more. Also, multiple thin coats with ample drying time between will give you a much smoother finish that one thick coat. Here is what the finished lamps look like, with the addition of whites shades I found at Ross for 5.99 a piece. For less than 30 bucks, I have two "old-new" lamps for our apartment!