Diy lamp makeover that will save you SO much money and is so easy.
Kendra Hagerman
Kendra Hagerman September 23, 2020


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If you follow me on Instagram or are familiar with my site, Kendra Found It, you may know that finding copycat decor is one of the things I enjoy most. Basically, I find gorgeous, expensive decor and then find something similar that will give you the look for less. Sounds awesome right?! You can find all my copycat decor here if you want to see some examples.

Recently, I’ve fallen in love with oversized distressed lamps; I adore the rough texture, chalky finish, vintage vibe, and weathered look. The problem? They can be really, really pricey. We’re talking anywhere from $250-$855. Trust me, I did the research.

So what does a budget babe do when she can’t find a dupe? She makes it herself, of course! No, wait – hear me out. I’m not actually making the lamp, but I’m going to recreate the look. The best part about this DIY is that you need very minimal materials and it comes together super fast. I’m not a patient person (which is why I don’t normally do DIYs on Something Turquoise), but trust me on this one: this is a very simple project that you honestly can’t mess up. Here’s how it all went down:

Diy lamp makeover that will save you SO much money and is so easy.


1. Hunt For the Perfect Lamp

First things first, find yourself a vintage lamp. You know, the ones that you see at the thrift stores for around $30 or less that are super ugly, but have potential. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this diamond in the rough for just $25 (I’m located in Canada, where thrift stores seem to be more expensive compared to other places, so this is a steal).

Pro tips: be sure to test the lamp before you buy it and if possible, choose a lamp with a shade that’s in good condition. You can always purchase a new lamp shade if you find one that you love that doesn’t have a shade or it’s in poor condition. Here’s a photo of my lamp sitting patiently in the thrift store for me to find her.

This thrift store transformation is everything! I took a vintage lamp and gave it a makeover that you don't believe. If you love easy DIYs and home decor, you HAVE to see this. #found #home #lamp #terracotta

This DIY aged lamp will blow your mind. The entire project cost less than $50 (including the lamp) and looks like an $855 lamp that sells online right now! If you're into affordable and easy home decor DIYs, you need this makeover in your life. #distressed #vintage #found #inspo #design #luxury

2. Spray Paint it Matte Black

You can actually spray paint it any color, but you want it to be matte so it has a vintage feel to it. I used Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Paint and Primer in flat black and covered the harp and cord with a plastic bag and some painter’s tape so it didn’t get paint on it. I then let it dry overnight.

Rust-oleum spray paint thrift store lamp makeover! This before and after is crazy - you need to see this super simple DIY that is low cost and low effort. If you love thrift store DIYs, this is for you. #decor #budget #house #ideas #vase #transformation

I'm doing a "found" lamp DIY project and you will not believe what happened. I'm giving a thrift store lamp a major makeover and turning it into an oversized lamp that is worthy of Pinterest. I even gave it a linen lamp shade! #home #decor #lighting #ideas #inspo

3. Get Dirty

Okay, here’s where it gets weird. Go outside, grab about a cup of dirt (any dirt will do), and mix it with water until it’s the consistency of oatmeal cooking on the stove (weird comparison, but it works). Then, trust me here, rub it all over the base of the lamp. It’s going to feel a little scary because you’re dirtying up the lamp that you just made way prettier than it was when you found it, but we’re going to fix that in the next step. Let it dry fully – this is very important; you can see in the image below that my lamp is covered in a thick layer of dried dirt. Do not proceed to the next step until it’s fully dry.

Note: I was totally inspired by @DesertDecor and jaci.daily, so I can’t take credit for the genius that is “distressing with dirt”. I was totally inspired by them, so go give ’em a follow if you want some great home decor inspo.

Did you know you can makeover a thrift store item by using paint and DIRT? Yup, you can get that vintage feel to it by using less than $10 worth of supplies with this simple decor DIY. You won't believe what happens after this... #lamp #project #home #inspo #decor #lighting #makeover #found #hack

4. Wipe it Down

Now, grab an old rag, paper towels, or even a kitchen towel and start wiping it off. There’s no right or wrong here, but I found that I had to wet the cloth a number of times as I was wiping and I used lateral strokes to get the look I was going for. You honestly can’t mess this up! You may need to really rub hard or use quite a bit of water depending on your lamp/mud mixture, but if you take too much off, you can always add more dirt back on and go through the previous step again. I found it helpful to have a few photos of the look I was trying to achieve; if you want some inspiration, search “found lamp”, “vintage lamp”, or “distressed lamp” on Pinterest.

Once you’ve achieved the look you’re going for, you’re done! Can you believe it?! You may be wondering if the lamp feels dirty or gross and the answer is no. I know – I was as surprised as you. If you really rub at the dirt, it will come off on your finger; I don’t plan on doing this, so I’m good.

Have you heard of found vases or lamps? Here's the easiest tutorial on how you can get a DIY vintage look with DIRT (yes, you read that right)! It sounds crazy, but looks so classy and elegant. #inspo #makeover #project #easy #home

Vintage, "found" lamp makeover DIY. I've always loved aged vases and lamps, so this is how you get one without spending a fortune! Aged lamps are so in right now and this black and white one is stunning. #neutral #transformation #linen #makeover #decor #inspo

I then got really picky and wanted the shade a little lower on the base, so I purchased a new lamp harp that was two inches shorter than the one it came with. In terms of measurements, harps are all made equal, so any replacement that you purchase should fit your base as long as it’s the same design. I got mine from Home Depot for $3, but you can also get them off Amazon.

You won't believe how easy and affordable this "found" vintage lamp DIY is. You could actually use this tutorial on vases or other home decor too! It's so easy gives you that earthy, chalky look that's all over Pinterest right now. I got my lamp a thrift store! #inspo #decor #home #lighting #makeover #transformation

You also may be wondering about the lamp shade: this could be an entire DIY on its own, but it won’t be because I won’t be doing it again. I purchased a linen curtain from a thrift store for $8 and used Gorilla spray adhesive to cover it up. This was by far the hardest part of this DIY for me and next time, I would likely purchase a new shade from Target because it really tested my patience (or lack of). If you have more skill and patience than me, covering an old lampshade is a great way to save money and give life to an old piece. It came out beautifully, but it took some time.

This Restoration Hardware lamp DIY will save you over $800! Kendra Found It made this lamp to look like a Restoration Hardware table lamp and we're here for it. The best part? It's so easy and looks super chic. #crafting #makers #diy #entryway #console

A thrift store lamp makeover that will blow your mind. Can you believe that this a DIY? I love oversized lamps on side tables and in entryways, and this West Elm credenza is gorgeous. Love a good vintage makeover! #inspo #decor #vase

This oversized black lamp with a linen shade was SO ugly before this DIY. This "found" vintage diy is everything and will blow your mind. #bedroom #inspo #vintage #thriftstore #makeover #transformation

This neutral, natural, muted bedroom with an oversized black table lamp is what I need in my life! The best part? The vintage, "found" lamp is actually a DIY and you won't believe what the awful before pictures looked like. #inspo #bedroom #maker #transformation

I honestly couldn’t be happier with the outcome and am incredibly proud of this DIY. I styled it in two places in my home and think I’m going to keep it in our bedroom so I can see it everyday. This impatient budget babe/DIY-er gives it five stars because it came together in 24 hours and I got the Pinterest-worthy look for under $50.

Natural bedroom vibes with a round mirror, aged lamp, neutral tones, and a relaxing environment. The coolest part is that this vintage lamp is actually a thrift store makeover! #maker #craft #home #house #bedroom #modern #rustic

Would you believe this table lamp is a DIY from a thrift store?! If you're looking for DIY lamp ideas, you've got to see this. Love the neutral vibes, natural decor, and rustic touches. #makeover #transformation #decor #inspo #distressed


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