Wednesday 15 June 2016

How to up-cycle a table lamp

Over 20 years ago this lamp base started off green and fresh-faced. That's the way it's always been until last week when I discovered it while rummaging through old boxes.

I've always thought it had good bones and that someday I should paint it. Standing over the box, it hit me: the methods applied to the new sample board I was working on for the FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course, would be perfect for the transformation of this lamp.

I already had the moulds in which to produce the ornaments that I wanted to add around the top of the lamp. The ornaments needed to be flexible in order to curve around the body and therefore I would have to use recipes and methods from Project 6 of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course. I had plenty of pre-made square ornaments to add around the base of the lamp.

TIP:  Whenever I make ornaments and have some leftover mixture, instead of discarding it, I use this to make extra ornaments to keep in stock. You never know when they may come in handy.


I started off by lightly sanding the entire lamp base. This was no more than a 5-minute job.

{See MATERIAL LIST at the bottom of this post}

Once I had reproduced the necessary ornaments, I glued them all to the lamp.

TIP: Use elastic rubber bands to keep the ornaments in position while the glue dries.

The surface may look clean, but who knows what has attached itself to the wood to penetrate the surface over the years. So it was important to prime it. I used the easy 3-step priming method that FARRAGOZ students use to create their own primers.

When that was done, it was time to add a homemade casein paint layer, followed by gold tempera on the details.

Next, I painted several coats of paint in various colours, using the traditional recipes from our courses.

After everything had dried, distressing was the next step.

Satisfied with the results thus far, I was excited to start the best part of the whole process - adding the extra patina and sealing the piece.

So, to sum up ...


1. Basic lamp base

2. Sandpaper

3. Primer ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses

4. Ornaments ~ Recipes and methods from FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course

5. Glue

6. Elastic rubber bands

7. Casein paint ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses

8. Gold tempera ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses

9. Paintbrushes

10. Polish


1. Sand down lightly to key

2. Apply ornaments

3. Prime ~ Following instructions in FARRAGOZ Online Courses

4. Paint white 

5. Paint gold details

6. Paint various colours in layers

7. Distress and polish ~ Following Methods in FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course

It is very easy to find lamps suitable for up-cycling at thrift stores, junk shops or markets. In this tutorial, changing the entire look of the piece was merely a case of adding ornaments and paint. 

Finding the right ornaments may seem tricky at first, but it really is not. You can buy them ready-made from hardware stores or craft suppliers. Alternatively, you can copy them from old (or new) furniture pieces and frames. Once you start looking for them, you will realise how plentiful they are. 

There are various methods to copy and reproduce ornaments. Making a mould is a good idea if you want to reproduce multiples. All of this info is available in our PROJECTS Course.

I've discovered another lamp base in one of the boxes and will soon be giving that one a make-over too. I'll keep you posted.

Happy Painting!


This post was shared with:

Inspiration Monday

#patina #paint #ornaments #moulds #mouldings #paintedfurniture #distressedpaint #paintcourse #onlinecourse #paintfinishes #farragoz #furniturefinish #distressedpaint #wornpaint #creampaint #homemadepaint #goldpaint #antiqueing #lamp #paintedlamp #paintedlampbase #reproducingornaments #painting #classes #paintingclasses #paintinglessons #paintingtutorials #courses #paintingcourses #traditionalcrafts #crafts #howtopaint #howtomake #decor #homedecor

No comments:

Post a Comment