How to Repaint and upgrade your old bedside lamps

It's probably been at least 10 to 15 years since we brought our bedside table lamps. Actually, with most things in our bedroom, while raising children, they have had a hard life. When they were little they never seemed to be out of our our bed or and just hanging out in our bedroom. Even now they sometimes kick us out of our bed when feeling sick...yes! and they are now 20 and 18. However all is changing with Ms 20 already flown the coop and Mr 18 due to leave home to join the Air Force at the end of this month. 

So it's now time to start to think about making our bedroom more our own and bringing a bit of sophistication to it!

I thought that it would be easy to start with those poor tired lamps. As we are planning a full ensuite and wardrobe renovation later in the year and redecoration of the room, I didn`t want to go too crazy now and certainly didn't want to spend too much....but I did want to make some changes now......helps, I think, with dealing with the empty nest emotions!!

So the lamps got a make over. A total new paint job and new shades. And if I don`t say so myself they look great. It was sooo easy and quick and here is how I did it.


Decide on the design/style

So as to not waste too much of your hard earned money, take the time to decide how you want the lamps to look, colour, texture, shape and style of lamp. Good old Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration if you are not sure.

Try and get a sense of the colour you want for the base and the lamps (shape and colour). This is really helpful when it comes to shopping.

For our lamps I wanted the lamp base colour to be silver and the lamp shade colour black and the shape had to be large round/rectangle style.

I was super pleased as I found the perfect lampshades at Bunnings, local hardware store, and they were down to $10 each. 

The paint colour was actually easy as I had already used it in a previous job and I loved it and the tone and texture was going to go so well with the linen and accessories already in the room.

Get the Equipment

The only equipment you need is for the painting.

  • Sandpaper - to rough up the surface of the lamps, this helps the paint to adhere better. I would suggest that medium grade would be best.
  • Paint - I used a spray paint. I have used spray paints for a number of home projects and I find that the Rust-Oleum is the best and I get really good even coverage.
  • Plastic bag and tape - you need to cover the light bulb area and the cord so they are not sprayed. I just cut off sections of plastic bag and tape them over the areas I need to cover up.
  • Old sheet or drop cloth - as you are using spray paint you need to cover the area as there is a bit of spray residue when using spray paint.
  • Outside - You should spray outside, when there is little are asking for trouble to do it inside


Get Painting 

First thing to do is to get yourself set up outside with the drop cloth and lamps.

Take the old shades off and remove the light bulbs. Then cover up the areas of the lamp with plastic and tape. Get the sandpaper and rough up all the surface area that you want to paint. I did not go crazy on the sanding, just a light once over was fine.



Next step is the spraying of the lamps. Don't come in too close, you want to stand back, be a good arms length away as this ensures a consistent application. Make sure that you keep turning them to ensure that you get an even coverage on all sides.  I did three layers of spray paint, allowing a good 30-50 mins between each to allow the paint to dry.



Now that you have finished the painting just have a good look over all the area to ensure that the paint has been applied evenly. You may need to touch up a bit if there are gaps.

Once you are happy with the paint work and it is nice and dry remove all the plastic covers.

Then lastly just put the new lamp shade onto the lamp.


That is it folks!, that's all it took to get a completely new look for the lamps. I am really pleased with them and I think they fit nicely with our current colours and decor.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has transformed their lamps, pics would be great, and any good tips and hints.

Stay tuned for my next post where I reveal more bedroom updates.

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