Yesterday, I posted about the first step in putting together a room for our baby - finding a cot in a traditional Jenny Lind style. Today I want to share with you a lamp makeover I did soon after. At the time, we'd started painting the room too but I was excited to move ahead with some fun decorative elements. After all, we had spent many hours cleaning out the room and the huge built in cupboards that take up an entire wall. The prep work is never fun! It meant many trips to the op shop to donate unwanted clothes, linen and other odds and ends we had crammed in there. The upshot of this is that one day I decided to wander around the op shop and stumbled across a lamp base that I thought had great potential. I'd just read Good Bones, Great Pieces (a book I'd recommend by Suzanne and Lauren McGrath) which perhaps inspired me to see beyond its current state. At $5.99 for a tagged and tested lamp, I could hardly go wrong.
After wiping it over, masking the cords and the bit where the bulb sits, I set up my painting station in our front yard and gave it a coat of primer, followed by two coats of white. As I was doing this after work, I waited a day between each coat. You could do another coat 1-2 hours later but it got too dark for me to do that.
To do the red coats, I needed to spray without any breeze so I relocated to my brother's shed and enlisted his help as I didn't want to inhale too many fumes with a baby on board. You may now be wondering why I did coats of white when I wanted a red lamp. I did this simply because I wanted a bright red which I thought would be easier to achieve with a white base. In the past, I've found that the red appears dull when painted straight over the grey primer. In the end, we did so many coats of red that it may not have made a difference. I think we ended up with 3-4 light coats of red before we were happy with the colour and the coverage. So many coats is probably not something the experts would recommend but I figure you gotta do what you need to sometimes.
Next step was a lampshade. As it didn't come with a shade, I used several shapes of shades I have at home to get an idea of what would look best. A barrel shade looked better than a drum shade so I picked up this one at Freedom.
I tried it on in the shed before the final coats were finished on the base and my little brother instantly said it was too big and looked all wrong. I didn't want to believe him. After all, what does a 23 year old shed-loving male know about lamps? Turns out, quite a lot because it looked so much better with a smaller Ikea JARA shade ($29.99), with less variance in the diametre of the top and bottom on the shade.
The final touch was a piece of yellow bias binding around the base of the shade, although I'm yet to decide if this is permanent. It is secured with one small piece of double-sided fabric tape at the rear of the shade so could be very easily removed. I'm yet to decide if it's too bright a shade for the rug and armchair we'll be bringing into the room. More on those fun elements later.