Tutorial: How to transform a floor lamp with spray paint and a lampshade

Do you love the utility of your torchiere floor lamp but hate the sight of it? Yes? Well, I can relate. Begrudgingly, I bought one this year, mainly because I didn't want to shell out big bucks and I really needed that little reading/task light that is attached to many torchiere lamps. But let me tell you - it is severely lacking in style or class. For starters, the pipe base comes in black, and when juxtaposed against my light-colored walls, it stands out like a sore thumb. (You can find floor lamps in silver, too, but you'll pay twice as much.) In addition, the plastic cone-shaped lampshade looks cheap and tacky.*

Here is the before...wha, wha...
This is the exact same lamp I got from Target, and it's sooo bad.
...and the after! :)
Same lamp with a makeover

To see the steps and additional pictures, click Read more.
Materials - basic torch floor lamp ($9) (I opted for the dual purpose floor lamp with task light combo for $12.99.); Krylon Fusion for plastics spray paint (around $6); lampshade
(found a decent one at Ross for $2.99)

Time - 5 minutes + paint drying time (15 min to touch, 1 hr to handle)
Be sure to spray all of the small parts thoroughly, even the light switch.
Step 1 - Remove the plastic lampshades, and move your lamp to a well-ventilated area with cardboard or something under to protect the grass, garage floor, or whatever is underneath. 
Step 2 - No sanding needed with Krylon Fusion spray paint. Suh-weet! Before you begin spray painting, make sure to cover the bulb sockets with tape - something I didn't think to do at first. Move the can in a slow and steady motion about 8 inches from the lamp. Shake the can well before and occasionally in between spraying sessions. It will take about 2 coats to go from black to white. I think you are supposed to wait for it to dry in between coats, but eh, I'm impatient.

Step 3 - Secure the new fabric lampshade to the base, and voila! Much better than what it looked like before. I know I did mine in all white, which I may change if the mood strikes me, but just think of all the possibilities! Spray paint comes in all sorts of colors as do lampshades.
Best of luck! As a side note, I seem to be all about lamps lately. I'm working on another lamp project - this time involving a DIY base - which I will post if it turns out nicely.

*What is the asterisk in the title for? Well, after much deliberation and no good ideas, I ended up leaving the plastic shade on the task light. Hey, I don't think it looks all that bad within the context of the lamp's other improvements.


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  2. I still can't believe that you only use spray paint to transform that lamp into a new lamp. I am going to try it too. I just wish that I can make it right.

  3. This is brilliant! quick question - what kind of lampshade do you need to get to screw to the lamp? one that attaches to the bulb?

  4. I too am really interested in how you added a lampshade to that lamp? Is there some lampshade size/type in particular that would fit? Great site, by the way!

  5. Thanks! You shouldn't have a problem finding a lampshade that will work for one of these standing lamps. It needs to be one where the circle thing (technical term...just kidding) is low inside the lampshade - maybe halfway down. The kind of lampshade you would want to avoid is one that would require a harp to hold it above the lightbulb.

    Does that make sense? If not, I can take a picture of what mine looks like and post it here. Just let me know. :)

    1. Please take a picture because I unscrewed the plastic shade and can't figure out how to attach the lampshade

  6. I love that you transformed your torch lamp into one with a shade. I too would love to see what the inside of the shade looks like so that it can be fastened onto the base of the torch lamp. thanks.


Thanks for your kind comments!