Let there be light…

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Rewards Style influencer and Jane Influencer, we earn from qualifying purchases and any sales made through such links will reward us a small commission – at no extra cost for you.

My husband and I were out running errands as we drove by Goodwill. I begged like a child to please, please, please stop and go in. John is a good sport but he has his limitations. I was peppered with questions in rapid fire succession-

Do we have to go today?               YES!

What are you looking for?            I’ll know it when I see it.

How long will this take?               Oh, not long 🙂

He relented – I told you he was a good sport.  As I entered the store I made a mental note that the blue ticket color tags would be 50% off and I raced towards the back. Admittedly there wasn’t a lot to choose from on this particular day. I saw a hideous brass lamp with a jade colored base.  I wasn’t even looking for a lamp but I found myself drawn towards it.  First of all it is very heavy – the real deal as far as brass goes.  The lamp worked and it is three-way lighting.  It had a new shade, which was too small. The lamp was priced $7.07 and…it had a blue tag. SOLD at $3.54.

Brass and Jade - Before

Fast forward a few days…I was in line at TJ Maxx checking out.  Another woman was in the return line bringing back large, khaki colored drum shades.  My ears perked up like a good hunting dog. I was hearing things like – “ma’am you’ve had these shades for over eight months” and ” I can only give you store credit”.  The customer took her credit and went on her merry way.  I immediately got out of my line and went to the return line. I smiled sweetly as I said “if those lampshades were stocked items, wouldn’t they be on clearance”?  The very nice cashier checked for me and stated “this is your lucky day – the shades are now $6.00 a piece”. SOLD  Even at the original price of $16.99 a great value for a 15 inch drum shade.

Bargain lampshades

Now I needed a second lamp.  I went to Atlanta Union Mission thrift store Thursday.  They were having a 50% off lamp special.  I found a solid brass lamp that I thought would compliment the other lamp.  This lamp is also very heavy.  I purchased this lamp for $7.50

Brassy - before

I didn’t even know what I was going to do with the lamps.  I knew they had promising potential and they could be transformed. I started doing web research on how to paint brass.  Almost all of the sites recommended two coats of primer, two coats of paint and one coat of gloss.  Humph! I don’t have that kind of patience, especially on a project that I wasn’t sure was going to work out.  This is what I did instead:

  • I bought Rustoleum Universal 2 in 1…primer and paint in gloss white
  • Using plastic grocery bags and painters tape I protected the lamp harp and bulb area.  I did the same for the electric cord.
  • I laid out an old sheet in the driveway and placed both brass lamps on top.
  • I started to spray paint being sure to use slow left to right motion, being sure not to stay on one spot too long.
  • I let this first coat dry for 30 minutes.
  • I sprayed on the second coat.
  • I waited one hour and the lamps were dry enough to bring into the house.  The paint wasn’t totally dry for another hour or so.

After one coat

With one coat complete, I felt pretty good about the paint coverage.

Great primer and paint in one can

 This is the paint I used.  I was very satisfied with the coverage and smooth finish.  One full can painted both lamps.

Just two coats made it this smooth and glossyYou can see how perfectly glossy it is too.

I am super happy with the end result.  As much as I love the lamps they will have a new home in a clients house.  I wanted to see how they would look so, I did a quick staging.  The finials were leftover from an art project – metal acorns.

From Brassy to Classy:

This lamp was formerly shiny brass and jade...look at how beautiful it is after a makeover


This lamp used to be ugly and very shiny brass - simple makeover to a beauty

This lamp makeover was probably the easiest and quickest project I have ever done.  Not including drying time, this project took literally ten minutes…no kidding.  It only took two minutes to tape off the lamps.  Each spray session was only a few minutes.  Maximum result for little effort – my kind of project.   I won’t hesitate to purchase more lamps in the future.  Here’s the cost break down:

  • Lamps (2)                    $11.04
  • Shades (2)                     12.00
  • Paint                                 3.85
  • Finials                             free
  • Total                           $26.89

Not bad for two lamps!  Have you ever made-over a lamp?


  1. Elizabeth Tritt says:

    I may have to try this one!

    1. 2 Bees in a Pod says:

      Yes! You will be so impressed with your results. It was a fun project.

      We want you to share a photo when you are done 🙂

  2. Michele Fenton says:

    Hey that vase in the picture looks familiar – its the same one we used for our centerpieces at our wedding. 🙂

    1. 2 Bees in a Pod says:

      Michele – what great taste you have 🙂 My vase is from flowers that John sent me for my birthday one year. It is one of my favorites!

  3. Beautiful! I have personally done this with two brass lamps in my living room, and it is so easy! The transformation is always amazing and such a great way to recycle and give lamps with great design a new life.

    1. 2 Bees in a Pod says:

      Bambi –
      So glad to hear from you :). I love how quickly the lamps were transformed – instant gratification. Now, we need to find more lamps!

  4. I’ve wanted to paint two brass lamps that my mom has, but have been a little afraid to try; thanks for the directions … I’m going for it!

    1. 2 Bees in a Pod says:

      Yes Susan – don’t be afraid – we know you can do it! Let us know how your lamp makeovers turn out 🙂

  5. I also have 2 lamps the hubby and I want to paint…got to get busy!
    And I might be crazy, but I really liked the blue lamp!!!

    1. 2 Bees in a Pod says:

      Kathryn –
      You’re not crazy – beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Paint your lamps and let us know how it goes. We would love to see your photos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.