Thrift Store Lamp Transformation

Hello friends! I didn’t realize it had been this long since I wrote a new post. Yikes! Truth be told… many things have been going on in the background and these past few weeks have been a little overwhelming, however, I am glad to say I am back in the game and you will be seeing more of me and my projects. I have several in the works and will be sharing my ideas in the next few days.

I have been thinking about implementing some lifestyle changes recently and one of my newest (and most important) goals this year for me is to spend as little as possible when it comes to my home’s decor.

Our home is large….. 5,200 sq. ft. large and since I stay at home I cannot just go out and get whatever I want especially since I am really trying to implement my new style and make the best with what I have until I can do all the things I want with my home.

However, I still want a stylish home!!! Gah! 

And I know, these things take time and I have been focused on the end goal instead of making the best of the journey and allowing it to properly feed my destination.

So…. that being said, it’s back to Goodwill Hunting as I like to call it and since I have completed my craft room I will be putting it to good use as I transform inexpensive finds to fit my needs and my style.

Related: $5 Goodwill Challenge

And what better way to start than with a thrift store challenge!

I joined several other bloggers to get my butt into gear and get me started on this journey. In today’s post I will be showing you what I did in my latest thrift store lamp transformation (that was almost a disaster).

It will be a monthly thing to so the details are below in case you wish to join along.

monthly thrift store challenge Thrift Store Lamp Transformation

The Rules:

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There’s no monthly theme.
  • There’s no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Amanda | Domestically Creative
Angela | Simply Beautiful by Angela – Michelle | Michelle James Designs
Molly | Just a Little Creativity – Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled
Marie | The Inspiration Vault – Marie | DIY Adulation
Gail | Purple Hues and Me
Jennifer | Cookies Coffee and Crafts – Ann | Duct Tape and Denim
 Debra | Shoppe No. 5
Denise | My Thrifty House – Florence | Vintage Southern Picks
Deborah | Salvage Sister & Mister – Yami | The Latina Next Door
Pili | My Sweet Things – Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home
Karen | Dragonfly & Lily Pads

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation

So I bought this lamp at my local Goodwill for $3.93. It was still in great working condition and it had a beautiful shape to it.
Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 1 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation

It was perfect, and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

My goal was to buy a linen drum shade (or at least one that looked like linen) and paint the base and distress it for that farmhouse look.

Here are the supplies I used:

To watch the tutorial you can click the video below as well…


Let’s get started……

First I cleaned off the lamp with a damp cloth.

Then I applied the white chalk paint.

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 2 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation

I’m not gonna  lie. It looked a hot mess and I freaked out a bit when I saw the first coat.

But I kept going…

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 3 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation

After three coats, the lamp was better coated, but then the paint was so thick in some places it looked terrible.

However, I knew I wanted it to be distressed so I began sanding (and praying) that it would turn out okay. I was concerned about the brush strokes…

You can see them up close below.

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 5 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation


What a nightmare…. but I kept going… I was determined to make this right!

And alas, it got better!

The brush strokes finally started fading away… but not without some serious elbow grease.

Related: Farmhouse Box Thrift Store Transformation

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 4 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation


Then when I could not sand anymore I wiped it all down with a damp cloth and proceeded to apply the white wax. As soon as I was done applying it, I wiped the excess off.

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 6 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation


I let the wax cure overnight for 24 hours and then added the shade and placed it on the side table in my keeping room.

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation 7 Thrift Store Lamp Transformation


It’s not “perfect” by any means, but I am really happy with it. The lamp looks so much better and I love how well the shade complements it. I added little clear adhesive tabs to the bottom so it would not scratch any of my furniture.

It’s got that farmhouse rustic charm but still light and airy for that coastal look I love so much.

Related: Transform Your Furniture with Milk Paint

Thrift Store Lamp Transformation Before and After Thrift Store Lamp Transformation


Since I had all of the supplies at hand the cost for this project was only $19 since the lamp was $3.93 and the shade was $14.99.

Similar ones online go for waaaaay more… just check out this one below available right now! Yikes!

It’s gorgeous, but I would rather save my money and cherish the one I just transformed…. ?

Screen Shot 2018 03 21 at 11.28.48 PM Thrift Store Lamp Transformation


What did you think? How did you like this thrift store transformation? Would you like to see more projects like this? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe below as well!



And now for more thrifty goodness!

Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!

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  1. This lamp looks awesome! The distressed look is perfect. I love looking at things that I’ve made in my home, it just makes it more special.

  2. Your lamp is lovely! I hope you showed your husband the expensive lamp and the price of yours! What a savings! Thanx for the great explanation–including your worry about how the paint streaks showed and how you persevered. Although I am a long time crafter, this DIY stuff is still new to me and I’ve had a few outright failures! I love learning the easy way from someone else’s hard way!

    1. Thank you Kathy! I sure did show him, LOL! He likes how it turns out as well. Next time I plan on sanding in between coats of paint and hopefully that will help with the brush strokes.

  3. This is gorgeous! Is the base metal or wood? I can’t tell from pics. I get frustrated with brush strokes as well they sort of drive me crazy but you were patient and it paid off. I love the shade you found too. I have two lamps in my garage that match and would love to transform them into something light and bright like these! They are awesome!

    1. Thank you! It was like a resin type base so I didn’t feel bad painting over it. I should probably sand in between paint coats next time. Hopefully that will help with the brush strokes.

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