$10 DIY Lamp Makeover

Article Posted By: Jen Pinkston

$10 DIY Lamp Makeover

Guest contributor Jen Pinkston is an LA-based freelance wardrobe stylist and the creator of  the style blog The Effortless Chic. She’s quite clever in the DIY realm, and shows us a terrific lamp makeover that’s definitely the right price.

Here is how it started: Our guest bedroom was in major need of a redo. We painted the room a super neutral beige when we first moved in, but after a few months I realized that the room doesn’t get nearly as much natural light as the rest of the house. The wall color combined with the dark furniture and accessories were causing the whole room to look dark and dismal. It was desperate for some cheery color and brightness!

I first considered buying new bedding, then a new rug and all sorts of things, but as new homeowners we are on a budget! During this time of intense interior design soul searching I noticed that our dark brown lamps perched upon our dark brown bedside tables were not doing us any favors in the bright and cheerful department.

The solution to our dreary and drab woes? Bold-colored spray paint + dark brown lamp = bright and cheery, eye-catching, jaw-dropping brilliant pop of color!

I actually made it to this point in my life without ever having so much as touched a can of spray paint. Needless to say, I was a little reluctant at first, but I took it slow, learned a couple helpful tricks along the way, and I am super happy with the results! So happy in fact, that my wandering eye is now constantly scanning the house for objects that are in need of my newly discovered spray-painting skills.

Lamp Makeover

Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to transform one dark and dreary bedside corner into a bright and hip sleeping oasis for less than ten dollars!

Lamp on bedside table, before makeover

A Study in Beige… The only thing this bedside corner has going for it right now is the cute hubby in the photo!


Choose your lamp.

Why I ever thought it was a good idea to buy lamps that were the EXACT same color as the furniture is beyond me, and I have been dying to replace them for months! The good news is it made for an easy decision when choosing something to paint. I just kept thinking, “It can’t possibly look any worse than it does now!”

That’s always a good place to start right?

If you don’t have an existing lamp to paint, try perusing your local garage sales or second-hand stores for something inexpensive that would look great with a fresh coat of color.

Lamp, being spray painted

Here’s my well ventilated area, and one of my red rocks.


Protect the areas that you don’t want painted

I started by removing the glass panels of this particular lamp. The inner porcelain area was more difficult to remove so I carefully covered it with a plastic shopping bag and wrapped painter’s tape around it to secure. I also wrapped the cord in painters tape to keep it from absorbing the color.

Use a drop cloth, too, to keep paint off the garage floor or your lawn.


Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust and dry thoroughly.


Find a well-ventilated area—preferably outdoors—for you to do the painting.

I chose to do this project in our backyard and set it in the middle of some plastic sheeting to protect the grass. I had a hunch that the hubby would have some questions if he came home to a red lawn! Be sure to anchor down the sides of the plastic sheeting with rocks or something with a little weight so that the plastic doesn’t blow into your wet paint. (I did however have to answer subsequent questions from the hubby about why there were a handful of river rocks in our garden that were now bright red—oops!)


Follow the instructions on your particular can for applying the paint.

I used Rust-Oleum’s Apple Red spray paint.

Lamp makeover with spray paint, after

I switched out the photo to one that is a little more vibrant and fun… Sorry hubby!


Allow the paint to dry and… Voila! You are now the proud owner of a bright, cheery, eye-catching, jaw-dropping brilliant pop of color that is perfect for any table or nightstand!

In addition to the lamp makeover, I also updated the look with some of my favorite fashion books for visitors to check out during their stay.

Helpful Hint: I found that applying multiple very thin layers of paint with about 10 minutes of drying time in between each layer kept away any bubbles or drips. It takes a little more time, but the results are totally worth it!  (And yes, I learned this the hard way!)

Go on now—get spray-painting!

Jen is a former stylist for Ellen DeGeneres, working on DeGeneres’ wardrobe for her show, red carpet appearances and advertising campaigns. She’s now a  freelance stylist and first time homeowner. She writes about her love of fashion, food and interior design, as well as her experiences in DIY home projects at The Effortless Chic.

Browse The Home Depot’s Paint Department for the paint you need for your next DIY project.

Related Pinned Items