A Tale of Two Lamps

It’s been awhile since I showed you the two lamps I found for the boys’ room.  The first was left in a house when the tenant moved out. 

The second was delivered to me with end tables from a man who lost his mother and had to empty her house.

Neither lamp was something I would have cheered about finding but I know that paint can fix anything inexpensively.  The first one was finished before I was given the second but I’m glad it was because it gave me direction for the second.

Here’s the first.  You can read the details on how I painted this lamp and shade here.


These lamps couldn’t have been more different, what they had in common was their height.  It would have been hard to tie them together in the same room if they had been drastically different in size. I was fortunate.

I couldn’t do a striped shade this time because the shade is pleated. I opted to do a solid color and pulled out the orange latex paint and covered the outside of the shade.  It took two coats and then a third pass to catch missed spots in the pleats.


There were a couple of decisions I needed to make with the lamp itself. Would I paint the black marble base?  What would I do with the eagle near the top?

I knew right away I wanted to leave the marble base as it was.

Now the eagle. I toyed around with a few different color ideas.  The first thing I had to decide was if I wanted to make the eagle blend in or if I wanted to show off the eagle.  This lamp is for Little Guy who loves everything about animals so I thought he would get a kick out of having an eagle on his lamp.

That answered the question of whether or not I wanted the eagle to stand out, I did.

So did I want to paint it?  Maybe a glassy black to go with the black marble base? Use the orange? Maybe another color?  In the end I opted to leave the eagle the original brass to allow it to pop against the turquoise and leave a bit of the original lamp intact.

Now that you’ve been the pieces coming together, let me show you how the two look sitting side by side.

It worked out perfectly.  My oldest grandson loves the stripes on his lampshade and Little Guy loves the eagle.

While both lamps were very different in the beginning. One was made of brass, plastic and wood the other brass and marble you can see that once painted a matching color it showed off the circular patterns.

It’s hard to break down the cost of the lamps. I purchased the turquoise paint for the bench I have on the deck.  I purchased one quart of the paint for just under $10 but after painting the bench and the lamps I also did two doors with it as well.  The orange paint I purchased for a nightstand in the boys’ room, still to complete.  The closest I can say is it cost less that $5 worth of paint to transform the lamps.




    • The boys after watching me fix things bring me anything broken to show them how to fix it. I am more than happy to as I smile knowing this is a skill that will help them throughout their lives.


  1. Those are very bright and perfect for boys. Paint brings everything together. Another save from being dumped. The turquoise ties it all together. Such a fun look for the boys and that you made it just for them makes it extra special. Think I’ll head off to bed now. Looking forward to seeing your next project.


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