If you are looking for DIY table lamp ideas, I have shared a few and recently made over another table lamp from the thrift store.
I like upcycling table lamps as they are an inexpensive way to update home decor at a fraction of the cost of buying a trendy new table lamp from a furniture store or home decorating catalog.
When decorating a room, the right type of lighting – from table lamps, floor lamps to a single pendant light can make or break your decorating efforts. The right lighting fixture adds drama, creates a focal point and establishes a cohesive look.
For my foyer table, I wanted the look of black plaster or rustic stone based table lamps I see in decorating catalogs, but not the $300 and up price tag. Hence my need to use my creativity to DIY these styles of decorator lamps on my own.
I haven’t made any DIY lamps from scratch, but have previously upcycled another thrift store table lamp and even a chandelier to give each a new look using texture paint or craft paint. You can find these and more DIY table lamp ideas as you scroll to the end of this post.
With the success of these DIY lamp projects, along with faux stone finishes I added to a planter and a large bowl I made. Completing each gave me the confidence to try updating this thrift store table lamp I found into something designer worthy.
How to Makeover a Thrift Store Table Lamp Tutorial
Of all the DIY Lamp Ideas I have shared, this one was the easiest to do. It took about 30 minutes to complete and 24 hours to dry completely.
Above is my lamp base inspiration. This lamp is from Artifact.
I found this ceramic lamp base at my local thrift store, minus a lamp shade for $7.
I liked the shape, but the swashes of orange and brown as well as the modern look of the design were not my style… but, I am sure anyone who likes vintage or modern decor may think this lamp is perfect just the way it is.
- Thrift store lamp
- 3 cups Ready-Mix Concrete Patch – home improvement store
- Black spray paint + primer in one
- 1 cup black chalk paint
- 1 cup white chalk paint
- 3 cups water
- Dark wax and rag
- 2 mixing containers
- 3″ wide chip style paint brush
- Stirring stick
Time needed: 2 hours and 30 minutes
DIY Table Lamp Makeover Using Concrete Patch and Chalk Paint
- Clean Table Lamp Base
Sand lamp base with 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface, then clean off all sanding grit and any dirt on the surface.
- Spray Paint Table Lamp Base
Using a paint + primer in one formula, spray paint the lamp base using a flat or satin paint in black. One light coat will be enough.
- Mix Concrete Patch and Paint
In a separate container, mix 1 cup of black chalk paint into 3 cups of concrete patch and mix until the mixture is completely black.
Add more black chalk paint as needed.
- Apply Mixture to Lamp Base
Using a paint stirring stick, apply the concrete patch and black chalk paint mixture over the base of the lamp as if you were icing a cake.
- Create Horizontal Lines
Starting at the top of the lamp base, run a 3u0022- wide chip brush, horizontally around the lamp base through the concrete patch/paint mixture.
Try to get around the lamp base in one long swipe. Once you get around the top section, move down on the base and repeat the process until you reach the bottom.
- Add White Chalk Paint Layer
Water down white chalk paint: 1 part chalk paint to 6 parts water. Mix well. Brush this mixture over the dried black concrete patch layer.
- Dab Off White Chalk Paint
As soon as you apply the white chalk paint, use a sponge to remove most of it to create a chalky look over the black color.
If you like the way the painted base looks, then you are done.
- Optional: Add a Layer of Dark Wax
To create more depth to the finish, dab a rag into a can of dark wax and then rub it over the lamp base in a few areas.
Use a clean lint-free rag to remove any excess. Let dry.
I was happy with one layer of the dark wax, but don’t be afraid to try to use more or even use another color of wax or watered down paint over the black textured finish.
There really isn’t a wrong or right way. It is more about creating a finish you like.
4 More DIY Table Lamp Makeover Ideas
How to Make a Table Lamp Taller
If you find a table lamp to makeover that you love, but find it is not tall enough for the space you want to use, consider adding a riser to add height.
Here are a few easy ways to add height to a table lamp:
- Stack a few hardcover books under the lamp.
- Purchase a “decorative riser.” Or make one using pre-cut wood rounds and wood balls found at the craft store.
- Place the lamp on a few slices of a tree trunk.
- Look around your house for something to stack, like cutting boards or baskets. Place what you find under the lamp to see if it complements the lamp.
Where to Buy Inexpensive Lamp Shades
To complete my table lamp makeover, I used a lamp shade from another lamp I already had in my decor stash that I was not using.
How to Make a Lamp Shade Cover
If you have an old shade that fits your lamp, but don’t like the style, consider making a cover for the shade that will coordinate with your DIY project lamp,
A fabric cover for a lamp shade can be made three different ways:
- Fit Fabric Around the Existing Lampshade and adhere with glue.
- Make a Flouncy Lampshade Skirt of fabric to tie over the shade.
- Accordion Pleat Leftover Wallpaper and attach to the shade.
How to Choose The Right Wattage Light Bulb for a Table Lamp
When adding a lamp to a room, be sure to find the right type of light bulb for the fixture to bring out the style you added.
I chose to use a 100 watt soft white bulb in my lamp and added a socket dimmer so when we don’t need to have bright light in the room, we can easily dim the light right from the socket to add a warmer moody feel.
There are many types of light bulbs sold nowadays that can be added to a lamp project. They can range from cool to warm light to LED bulbs to a vintage looking Edison light bulb.
If you like to use tech solutions, add a smart bulb to your lamps so you can dim the lightbulb from an app on your phone.
Each type of lightbulb can make or break the look of the lamp or fixture, so experiment with a few to see what bulb type/wattage makes your lamp and room look its best.
How to Rewire a Table Lamp’s Socket and Cord
If you find the perfect table lamp at a thrift store or own one that no longer works, you can purchase a lamp kit to rewire a lamp base. Having a kit makes it is easy to do. You have probably seen these kits used to make a mason jar or bottle lamps at crafts fairs and on Pinterest.
Most of the lamp rewiring kits come with a new socket, cord, rod and harp.
Consider Adding a Dimming Socket
As I mentioned above, consider using a dimming socket instead of a regular light bulb socket.
A dimming socket is nice to have in a living room when watching TV or in a dining room to add mood lighting when entertaining. Adding one can easily be added to a table or floor lamp or even a pendant lamp if it has a standard size socket.
Here is the link to show you how to add a standard dimming socket to a lamp:
If you are inspired to make over an old lamp, but are afraid to give it a try, start by experimenting with texture compounds and paints on a piece of scrap wood until you get a feel for the technique and colors that you like.
Once you like what you see, you will have more confidence doing the technique on a lamp base.