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Monday, January 30, 2012

Brassy to Classy: A Goodwill Story


So, I admit it.  I'm a sucker for cheap, cheesy, kicked-to-the-curb, seen-better-days kinds of lamps that fill the shelves of thrift stores across America.  And, yes, I've been known to buy a lamp even when I didn't need one because I just can't resist a good makeover candidate.  I found my latest one a couple of weeks ago among the sea of brass lamps at my favorite Goodwill & I knew it'd be perfect in my bedroom.  And for only $5, it was mine.







I decided to give it an antiqued silver effect, so I used 2 of my favorite sprays from my paint stash to get it done.  First, I did one light coat of the Krylon Premium Silver Foil Metallic...



Then, I took the same paint in gold & held the can around 24 inches away from the lamp & did a very light spray-over.  



It took very little paint to cover this thing, and the effect was a silver finish with some gold spotting, a lot like tarnished silver.  




As for a shade, I bought a plain white drum shade from Target & added a couple strips of silver ribbon with a little craft glue to dress it up a bit.




And another lamp gets a new life at my house.  










If you'd like to try a thrift store lamp makeover for yourself, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a lamp for its shape or size, not for its current finish.  Try to see past the present state it may be in & view it for its potential.
  • Check the wiring, socket & switch for any obvious problems.  You can purchase lamp re-wiring kits from Lowes or HD & replace the old with the new if needed (directions are provided on the packaging).  Otherwise, for myself, I never leave old lamps unattended while turned on, just to be cautious.  
  • As for the new finish, spray paints are the perfect option, especially for brass, because of the smooth finish they produce.  I don't even bother with primer on mine because I know they'll rarely be handled & the surface will stay nice.  For more casual looks, craft paints or other acrylic paints can be brushed on.  



Click here to see a few more of my lamp makeovers.  I'll be sharing this project with a few of these sites.  






43 comments:

  1. Wonderful makeover! Perfect timing as I just got a wonderful lamp at Habitat this weekend. Stunning with glass ball on in and then the old brass, needing a redo, of course!

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  2. wow that turned out amazing! I love Thrifty finds like that!!!

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  3. What a nice makeover and it is the perfect size. At first I thought it was one of those huge old brass lamps from the 60's. I love the shape and size and you did a great job on it. xo Diana

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  4. Shut. UP!! I love the way this lamp turned out! I too, am a DIY lamp lover, but have never tried revamping one with this kind of paint. I do believe I have a new project on my to-do list! Great job!!

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  5. That turned out perfect and so sophisticated looking.

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  6. Wow this looks so great now! I'm on the hunt for some good lamps to make over currently for our bedroom. Hope I find some soon!

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  7. Beautiful makeover, Julie! It goes so well in your bedroom, too!

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  8. GREAT job! I love what you did.

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  9. That looks beautiful! Great job.

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  10. It looks like a completely different piece! Perfect for your home!

    xo
    Andie

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  11. It's a beauty! Love the effect with the gold overspray. I'd love to find a pair similar to that one for my bedroom. I can't hardly stand buying a "new" lamp anymore!

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  12. i like it! i have a lamp waiting for a redo as well, but we dont have anywhere to buy shades so i ordered one from target as well

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  13. Looks great! I knew I would love the after ;) Lamps have gotten so spendy and I think thrifted is a great soluition. I have several thrifted lamps and they are much more interesting then anything I could afford new, and would like. lol. I like the ribbon embellishment you added to the shade too. It's perfect. So pretty!!

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  14. Turned out gorgeous!! I love a great Goodwill lamp redo!! I would be delighted if you'd link up to my brand new party: http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/01/mop-it-up-mondays-party-1.html

    {HUGS},
    kristi
    (your newest follower)

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  15. Love it! You would never guess you bought it for five bucks!

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  16. What a transformation! Great job.

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  17. This is a wonderful idea - lamps are so expensive and this is a great way to update and old lamp! well done!

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  18. You did a great job here! That lamp looks brand new and perfect:) I would love it if you stopped by to share this at my linky party going on right now:)
    http://too-much-time.com/2012/02/diy-craft-link-party.html

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  19. What a beautiful transformation! I seen a lamp yesterday at the goodwill. Wish I woulda bought it!

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  20. I LOVE this lamp! The silver with a little gold is amazing - great job!

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  21. What a transformation! And sooooo simple! Great job!

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  22. Nightlamp look so beautiful.It really fabulous idea to share with us.This one is really beautiful..

    free lyrics

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  23. That lamp looks way to elegant to be from Goodwill! Great job!

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  24. That lamp is gorgeous with your work. I have a Goodwill lamp in my bedroom now and I need another one for the other night stand..I might just have to borrow that paint idea. Thanks for sharing!
    www.budgetfriendlydecorating.com
    Sarah

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  25. What a wonderful blog :) I love this lamp!!! I hope you don't mind but we've shared a link with our 1,700 followers ;)If anyone else has chronicled their Goodwill "makeovers" please send our way.

    Melissa Mireles, Marketing Manager, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio
    @goodwillsa

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  26. What a beautiful transformation. Now I know exactly what needs to be done with my lamp that's been collecting dust for 6 months:)

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  27. I have an old brass lamp in the basement! You've inspired me.

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  28. Hi Julie! Saw you featured at Thrifty Decor Chick and had to stop by for a better look and say hello! Love your lamp makeover. I just walked by a very similar brass lamp at Good will today, I am going back to buy it tommorrow after seeing how beautiful yours is. Am your newest follower. Please visit my blog and say hello! I love to make new bloggy friends and followers too :)
    Heather @ settingforfour.blogspot.com

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  29. This lamp looks fabulous! You did an awesome job! I would have never thought it was a thrift store purchase. Beautiful! :)

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  30. This lamp is fabulous! It turned out so well...I would have never thought it was a thrift store find. Beautiful! :)

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  31. Looks great! I love lamps and need them but they are so expensive! I know have inspiration.

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  32. I love the lamp too! I can't help but notice the curtains as well. Do you mind me asking where you got them or if you made them? They are striking!

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    1. Thank you! I bought those curtains from Horchow almost 3 years ago, but the good news is, they still have them! Here they are:

      http://www.horchow.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=cprod57280014&parentId=cat1640731&masterId=cat14540736&index=24&cmCat=cat000000cat000046cat14540736cat1640731&isEditorial=false

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  33. LOVE the lamp! Quick question - did you remove the harp for the new shade to fit? I have a few brass lamps in my garage that are begging for some spray paint, but I am having a hard time finding shades that fit with a harp.

    Thanks! What an awesome transformation!!

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  34. great lamp, but I'm mesmerized by your curtains. They would be perfect in my bedroom. Can you tell me where you got them (or did you make them? what's the fabric?) pntdmaypole AT yahoo Thanks!

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  35. oh, ha, if I had just looked a little into the comments I see that someone else already asked aboutthe curtains, and you answered. time to follow that link...

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  36. shoot they are blue. they looked more blue/green in your picture, which is just what I'm looking for. alas.

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!