Before and After: Sad, Flaky Lamps

Every now and then I grab something just because it looks like an easy project. And by “every now and then” I mean all the time. And by “easy project” I mean project that never gets done. And every now and then (and I mean it this time) one of those easy projects gets done.


When I bought this pair of lamps I was excited because I so rarely ever find lamps in pairs. Not that I ever really want lamps in pairs for myself, but I like the idea of it. I’m a tiny bit OCD, so I like things in pairs. I also thought it would be a snap to get the old paint off because it seemed to just blow away in the breeze. I thought I’d try pulling it off with tape. Wouldn’t budge. I thought I’d scrub it off with a wire brush. The brush was going to give out before the paint did. Maybe soaking it off in hot water? Nope. Alas, it couldn’t hold out against chemical stripper. So, some gooey nastiness and toxic fumes followed by spray paint, new wiring, new sockets and new shades—voila!


Easy projects always turn out to be the hardest. I had planned for these to be gray with darker gray in the recessed areas. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a concoction of paint that looked nice washed over it. In the end the only thing in my arsenal of supplies that worked was gel stain. It looked nice but it made the gray kind of a chocolate milk color. Still, I think they turned out pretty good and I’m glad I don’t have to keep seeing their sad, flaky bodies piled up in my garage for another year.

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