7.27.2010

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.

9 comments:

  1. Hello,
    thanks for your experience sharing, i appreciate your post. this post is really informatics and useful . If you are looking for floor refinishing, floor sanding or floor sanding essex, floor sanding kent these facilites in Lonfon you fan find more .........

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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.

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  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?

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  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!

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  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. :)

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

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  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.

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Thanks for your kind comments!