How To Update An Old Lamp Base

So, I did a thing….and I love how it turned out. I’m talking about an old lamp, however nothing is safe from paint at my house. I decided to give an older lamp a makeover because I wasn’t loving the style and the pebbled glass always looked dirty. I did love the shape though and couldn’t part with it. A makeover was the best option and I love how it turned out. It was inexpensive and easy, my favorite kinda project. Come see tips on repurposing an old lamp.


This was so easy to do and a project you can do in an afternoon. Whether you have an old lamp you want to change or find one at a thrift store that has great bones but not up to par, you can make it on trend with just a few simple items. You can also apply this same concept to any old vase.



  • Old lamp base
  • Lightweight joint compound
  • Gloves
  • Craft paint of your choice




Lightweight joint compound can be found at any hardware store, Walmart etc. I had this left over from our faux brick wall.



Step 1

Rub the joint compound around the lamp with your gloved hand. I just spread it around then lightly patted areas to lift the compound and create more texture. You don’t have to work quickly and you can play with the look until you get the look you want. Then let the compound dry. It’s best to wait overnight or at least 6 hours. It will depend on how dry or humid your home it for the timing



Step 2

Paint your first coat on. I went with a black undercoat so that when the other colors are applied it gives depth and a rich base to work off. I love how it brings more richness to the other colors.



Step 3

Next, layer on your paint colors. I did a mix of warm, aged terra cotta tones and recommend at least 3-4 colors. I used a taupe, parchment(creamy white) taupe and caramel color. First, start by dry brushing the parchment or lighter color first in light feather strokes. Then dab on the other colors with a watered down brush.



Just play with the colors until you get a look that you love. Another tip is to have a paper towel or plate nearby to “unload” the paint on the brush first before you apply it.





Keep the brush strokes feather light and sporadic in various spots.





There really is no wrong or right way to apply the color, just play with it until you get the look you love. The idea is to keep it more uneven and not the same all the way around. To get a more realistic and authentic look it’s better to keep it imperfect. Isn’t that a relief you don’t have to paint it the same all the way around and look perfect?



I love how the style compliments more items in our home. It adds so much more character and looks more expensive than it really is. Buying a real terra cotta lamp can be very pricey so this is a simple alternative to get an on trend decor items for a very low cost.



I love the opportunity to repurpose items in our home especially repurposing an old lamp. Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to update your home and keep things fresh and new. There really is no limit to the things you can update so don’t get rid of those old items just yet. I have several tutorials on updating home decor pieces in your home you can read about here How To Update A Dresser With Grasscloth How To Update A Plain Glass Vase,    Four Ways To Create A Simple, On Trend Vase

Thanks for following along, I’m so glad you are here. Be sure to subscribe to my weekely newsletter so you can stay updated on the latest trends. 


Happy Decorating











May 20, 2021


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