How to Prep a Lamp for Spray Paint

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend!

If you follow It's Always Ruetten on Facebook, then you know that I recently picked up two brand-new Nate Berkus lamps at Goodwill for 80% off their retail price at Target (score!). I love their shape and size, but the color is... well, brass. Brass normally wouldn't be a problem, but I put them on my bedroom night stands and it's just a bunch of bland, blah, oak/brass oatmeal. Too much.

So, what's a girl to do? Spray paint them! Or, as I mentioned on Friday, ask Morgan to spray paint them for me! So, here I am with my tutorial on getting the lamps ready to paint!

After finding the lamps of your dreams, there are only 6 steps between you and getting them ready to paint.

Before you get started, take off the lamp shades if they came with any and, of course, unplug the lamps.

Now you are ready to get started!

Step 1: Take off any and all stickers on the lamp:

My lamps not only had their price stickers from Target, but multiple Goodwill price stickers, and even a sticker with the name of the brand on it. Remove them all, and try not to scratch the surface of the lamp while getting them off. 

Step 2: Gather your supplies: four (two per) plastic lunch bags and tape. I used painters tape, but you can use whatever tape you have on hand.

Step 3: Cover each socket with one of the plastic bags and tape it into place.
Step 4: Repeat Step 3 with the cords. I found that when I taped up the cord, it worked best to tape the bag a little way down from the base (where it meets the lamp) and then use tape to cover the very end of the cord. You can see how I did that on the far right picture below.

Only two more steps! 

Step 4.5: If your lamps are metal or if you think paint is going to have trouble sticking (my lamps are plastic so I didn't have any worry) ... I'm thinking a brass lamp, you may want to wipe it down with a liquid deglosser (more from Young House Love on LDG here).

Step 5: Wipe down each lamp to remove any residue or sticky marks. We used a damp wash cloth, but I bet a paper towel would work well too! 

One of the lamps also had sticky residue from the price sticker, so we used a cotton ball with finger nail polish remover to get it off. 

Step 6: Make sure your lamps are dry; then you are ready to paint!

I can't wait to show you finished lamps! Morgan did an amazing job on them!

{I party with these blogs.}


  1. I can't wait to see them painted!!! Share them soon!

  2. Great tips! I've been wanting to pick up a lamp at the thrift store and try after seeing some great ones on Pinterest. Pinned to my redo board. Thanks for sharing at All Things Pretty.

  3. I have a lamp I'm hoping to spray paint soon so I'll be following these steps! Pinning this now! Thanks for linking this up to Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop. I hope to see you back next Sunday night!

  4. I cannot believe you found Nate Berkus lamps at goodwill! What a score! I also cannot wait to see what you've done with them!



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