How To Spray Paint a Lamp


One of my favorite things to spray paint are lamps. It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to an otherwise boring, normal lamp! Or maybe I like them because I get to throw out Anchorman quotes in my blog post?

But you can’t just start spraying, there’s some prep work involved in painting a lamp. You don’t want to ruin the electrical parts or get things sloppy, and you want it to work.

I put together this handy dandy photo tutorial that you can easily pin and store for reference!


when spray painting:

-Leave lots of time between coats, the more time the better.

-If you prime the lamp, it’ll hold up really nicely and the paint will stick well. I skipped this step, because I will probably change the color someday, and I didn’t want extra layers.

-SHAKE WELL!!! I’ll say it again, cause it’s that important. SHAKE WELL!!!!

-Don’t try to cram it all in one coat: long, light sprays are the best. Hold the can farther away to avoid drips!

(Geez, these tips need their own fancy picture… I will get on that!)

A few more things about this project:

-I will only use Shaklee’s Basic H when cleaning. It cleans ANYTHING, it’s safe and all-natural, and since it’s concentrated, very cheap! Works great on dusty lamps.

-I use Frogtape, and love how well it performs. I haven’t had an issue with other brands, but honestly I like this one because it’s green. And has a cute frog. No, they did not pay me to say that. (Yes, I am such a girl.)

-This lamp was bought at a garage sale for $10, the shade is from Target.

-The yellow color is Hubble House Golden Maize by Valspar. While I normally stick to Rustoleum or Krylon spray paint, I will be unloyal for this color. It’s the perfect yellow, and Tatertot Jen also used it on her entry way table here. (thanks for the tip, Jen!!!)


What do YOU love to spray paint?

Favorite brands, colors? Any other questions?
I’d love to make another one of these, so what would you like tips on?

shared with Today’s Creative Blog


      • Betty819 says

        These are very simple instructions/details to follow. I’ve never spray painted a lamp but have seen some pretty lamps at local thrift store that I’d like to try to paint. My question is when you are buying a used lamp, how do you know that there’s nothing wrong with it other than people got tired of it or it was from an estate, etc.? Gosh, in most cases, the cost of the lamp shade will cost more then the used lamp itself! How do you avoid drips or runs? How close to the lamp do you get when spraying to avoid these mishaps? Do you always prime your lamps first? If you prime the lamp white or whatever color, how long do you allow the primer coat to dry before attempting the final coat of paint> Do you apply a sealer afterwards? Great instructions by the way; in fact the best I’ve seen here on pinterest. Thanks for sharing this information and your experience.

  1. lori says

    good post! I like your nifty Basic H spray bottle. Is the solution sold in that or is it purchased separately?

    Any tricks on folding fitted sheets? ; ) Mine always look a mess!

  2. says

    Hi! Your lamp looks great! I wonder if you might have some advice for me. I recently spray painted a lamp (my first time spray painting anything), and it did not turn out so well. The color looks great, but the finish came out very grainy, not smooth and shiny at all. I used Kyrlon indoor/outdoor gloss in “bright idea” yellow. It said it was good for lots of surfaces, including wood, which my lamp was. I sanded it lightly before starting and primed it with white spray primer. I can’t figure out what I did wrong. The paint can said “apply multiple thin coats, wait 1 minute between each coat,” and then also said, “apply additional coats within 1 hour or after 24.” So, I’m not sure what constitutes a coat. I did it very thin and used a sweeping motion, and it took forever to get it to cover. It took two full cans to get the color to look right. The only things I can think of is that maybe I was holding the can too far away or that I did not sand between coats. I couldn’t figure out when to call it “coated,” though, so I didn’t know when to sand if that makes any sense. The overspray area that got coated also had the same sandy texture, so I don’t think not sanding is why it ended up rough, but I’m a complete novice, so I have no idea. :) If you have time to respond, I would love to know what you think. Thanks!

    • says

      I’m sure Jenny figured out her answer a while ago, but I just wanted to share in case anyone else runs into that issue.
      With spray paint, there’s a fine line between too thick of a coat, a good coating, and too thin of a coat. If you make it too thing, then the paint particles are too far apart to merge together into a smooth finish. That leaves you with a sandy texture. If you follow the can directions of staying 8-10 inches from the piece, you should be fine. If you hold the can too far away though, it won’t get that full coating.
      If you’re sure you gave your item a good, full coat, then double-check the type of spraypaint you used. Is it made to have texture, is it older, do online reviews for that type say anything about getting the same texture you are?

      I hope this helps someone.

  3. says

    I was pushing over what sort of shade to put on with my lamp. I would like to use a huge amount of cash on a shade for a light that I had bought at a yard deal and wanted to re-offer. As I was scouring my craft room, I went over a shade with flying creatures on it that had once been in my lounge room. I considered, “That will never work, however I’ll attempt it in any case.” And much to my amaze, it looked great on the lamp.

  4. Shelly says

    great tips! I found a lamp that has a dull finish, kind of antiqued red/black. Also have another that has a stone-like finish. What kind of paint? I want a Western look that goes with copper lamp shade or burlap.

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