Giving A Floor Lamp An Art Deco / American Glamour Make Over


Old homeware items can be given a totally new lease of life with a little bit of creativity. If you own an item that either you do not like anymore, or does not fit into your current decor scheme, look at it and think about how you could make it work with a little bit of DIY, rather than get rid of it or stick it in the loft.

I had a rather lovely chrome floor lamp that was in perfect working order; yet I am just so not into chrome these days, having fallen hard for gold and brass! Rather than replace it for something more my current style, I gave it an 'American Glamour' make over by spray painting the base and adding basic black ribbon to a plain white shade to give it a more sophisticated edge.

For this quick and easy little revamp, as well as a lamp base, you will need the following:

  • Spray paint in a colour of your choice.
  • Good quality masking tape (never bother with the budget stuff, it's a total waste of time - it's hell to get off anything).
  • A cheap shade (I used this cheap jobbie from Ikea for £3.90)
  • Basic black 5mm ribbon that you can get from any haberdashery.
  • Small tube of clear superglue or fabric glue.
I used this spray paint by Rust-Oleum in a gold finish

I used this spray paint by Rust-Oleum in a gold finish

Take your lamp base and wrap all parts of it that you do not want to be spray painted in masking tape. Make sure that there are no small gaps as spray paint will get through and once it's on, you can't really get it off. I covered the wire and plug and the bit that holds the bulb to give it a more streamlined look.

Make sure your lamp base is clean and dry and free from any dirt and dust. Take it outside and give it 2-3 light coats of paint, leaving 20-30 minutes between each coat for the coat before to dry (overload the paint and it will start to run rather than look flawless.) Spray the entire lamp base with around a 30cm distance between the can and the lamp. You may want to put down some card or an old towel on the floor directly under the lamp to protect your outside space.

With clean hands, take your shade and ribbon and gently dot glue on your shade and stick down the ribbon as you go in an even circle around the top and the bottom. Dot the glue about 2cm apart all the way around the shade so your ribbon doesn't droop. Start your ribbon at the join of the shade and wind it around the shade until it meets the other side, then cut the ribbon:

Start and end your ribbon around the join of the shade for consistency.

Start and end your ribbon around the join of the shade for consistency.

Place your shade on your lamp and then ta-da! One Art Deco style floor lamp with monochrome shade that is more up my street than the chrome one, and saves it from being relegated to the loft.

Try and make the ribbon as level as possible and space the glue 2cm apart to avoid the ribbon sagging.

Try and make the ribbon as level as possible and space the glue 2cm apart to avoid the ribbon sagging.

This is the Louis Ghost Armchair by Kartell. The walls are painted in Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball.

This is the Louis Ghost Armchair by Kartell. The walls are painted in Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball.

Since this lamp was in pretty good nick in the first place, I'd call this upgrading rather than upcycling. Have you upgraded any of your homeware items? If so tell me all about it in the comments section below!