How to Spray Paint Lamp Bases

I am in the process of redoing my second bedroom for a future resident and needed to address the lighting (or the fact that I didn’t have any).  I had a floor lamp that would supply some light, but I wanted lamps to flank the bed.  I already went on this mission a month earlier for an antique writing desk and was surprised at how much lamps could cost!  This time was going to be different.

I happened upon two brass lamp bases at a (non-local) Goodwill for $6 each.  I quickly purchased them before the price changed.  (The local Goodwill had matching lamps stands that started at $30!…and they weren’t in ready to use condition.)

I liked the shape of the bases, but the brass had to be changed.  So, almost 40 weeks pregnant and days before the I am to have the baby in the middle of winter in the NorthEast, I take on one last craft project.

Items Needed to Spray Paint Lamp Base?

Items Needed to Spray Paint Lamp Base?

Items For (One) Lamp Base:

  • Lamp Base
  • Spray Paint (Primer and desired color)
  • Sand Paper (100 grit)
  • Plastic bags and painters tape (to cover cord and hardware)
  • Box to spray paint in (optional)

There are many ways to paint a lamp base and this is the way I did it as to minimize my exposure to chemicals.

For brass or other glossy finishes, you want to roughen it up to the paint adheres.  There are great products that do this (i.e. TSP cleaner) but due to the harsh chemicals it is suggested chemical resistant gloves be worn when using.  This option was out and I opted for sandpaper.

I also opted for a primer and spray paint in one to minimize coats and therefore fumes.  You don’t have to be limited.

I don’t have a garage and need to spray paint outside.  So, I like to use a cardboard box to minimize breeze and spray.

OberBargain Tip:  Try to use what you have an hand for primer etc .  I happened to have extra lamp shades from another project, so there was no additional cost.  For this project, I was able to purchase everything for less than $9 a lamp!



Sanded Lamp Base?s

1. Clean and Prep

  • Remove any grease, etc. from lamp base and lightly sand to roughen up the surface.  If there are any spots were existing paint is peeling, be sure to smoothen with the sand paper.
  • With a dry cloth, wipe base clean removing any leftover sand and dust.
  • Tape any wire, bulb sockets or any other parts that you do not want painted.  I used plastic bags for the long cord and harps; securing it with painters tape.

 2. Prime and Spray Paint

Prepped Lamp Bases Ready for Spray Painting?

  • Cover your work surface and prime your lamp (following the directions on the can).  Use short bursts to cover the lamp to minimize drips.  It may take more than one coat.  Once primer is dry, spray paint with desired color

3.  Final touches

  • Remove tape, etc., put on a lampshade and light bulb and you are done!

The project took around 5 hours to complete (start to finish including drying time) but was only a few minutes of ‘work’ for each step.  Although this was my first spray paint project, it certainly won’t be my last.  The process was easy and the transformation worth the little effort!

As for the lampshade, if you are looking to jazz up an existing shade with a stencil.  Check out an earlier post on making and applying a custom made stencil.

Here is the final product!

Completed Lamps


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2 Responses to “How to Spray Paint Lamp Bases”

  1. Janica Williamson says:

    What is the product that used to paint the lamps?

    • Nicole says:

      I used a Krylon Dual Paint and Primer (in-one) spray paint. I am sure other brands would work. Good luck with your crafting!

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