After about 15 years, this monkey lamp was looking a little dark and a little sad. It was living in the shadows at my mom’s house, and my recent move which came with a new dark corner for him to live in inspired me to give him a makeover and take him with me. I was never able to let him go; he’d gone through college with me, and I can’t resist the hear no evil speak no evil see no evil monkey motif. Amid the madness of the boxes, this DIY was a much welcomed relaxing project that took no more than an hour.
Want to give an old dark lamp a fresh and bright modern update?
1 bottle of gold leafing paint (or another color of your preference)
1 drum shade
1 thin clean wooden stick such as a grilling skewer
1 1″ wide angled edge foam brush
Paper or a garbage bag to protect your work surface
1. Remove the lamp shade if you are replacing it and wipe down your lamp base with a damp cloth to ensure that it is free of dust and dirt.
2. Lay your papers or garbage bag down on your work surface so you don’t damage your furniture. Make sure the surface of the lamp is dry before starting step 3.
3. Use the stick to stir the paint gently starting at the bottom. This will help mix the color without creating bubbles.
4. Pour a palm sized amount of paint at a time onto your papers or garbage bag and generously coat the foam brush. Use heavy coats first on any tight crevices and work outward from those areas in a dabbing motion.
5. Once you’ve covered the entire base, give it a good once over and cover any missed spots. Let it dry for at least an hour.
7. After your base has dried, replace the shade by removing the screw at the top of the lamp harp and replacing the screw on top of the new shade. I picked up a new shade at Cauz for Pawz on 23rd Street for $4, and you can find similar styles at Housing Works on the cheap or Amazon if they don’t have what you need. If the new shade is not a perfect fit for the hardware, add a washer or two to keep it tight.
Shiny and new (ish)!
Have you DIY’ed or upcycled a lamp lately? Spill your beans below.
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Desi Hoopla05/23/2015 at 11:24 am
OMG! I have the same lamp and I adore it. Picked it up from an antique shop for a great price. So happy to see that you love yours as well!
Kiri Masters (@ilikethatlamp)03/26/2014 at 7:31 pm
Love this project! Gold leaf (or copper or silver for that matter) makes everything look better!
The shade you picked has the perfect dimensions for the base.
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