DIY lamp makeover

One of the great things about the street that I live on is that we have a Whatsapp group so we can communicate with one another really easily. One of the things that we use the group for is to post any household items that we want to get rid of and more often than not there will be someone who needs whatever it is that is being given away. When one of my neighbours asked if anyone wanted an old M&S lamp I said yes as we desperately needed one in our bedroom at the time. Even though it wasn’t nice to look at I knew with a different shade and a change of colour on the base it would be as good as new.

A salvaged lamp that was being given away by a neighbour.

The shade was cracked and marked and the frame was wonky so there wasn’t much I could do with it. However, with a few pounds or with paint I already had I could see that the pretty shaped base could be transformed. The base is ceramic so I gave it a good clean and taped off the candle part and used an all surface spray paint and it couldn’t have been easier to get a good finish. I actually found the spray paint I used by chance at my local DIY store. It was the only colour they had and it was reduced to £3 (these cans are normally £5-11 in big DIY stores) so I decided to just give it a go!

I used Painters Touch gloss spray paint.

It’s definitely not my first choice of colour normally but I actually really like how understated it is and it works well with the other colours in my home. These sprays are quick drying and intended for use on wood, metal and ceramics. This paint provides a gloss finish.

Tape off any parts of the lamp you don’t want to paint.

Originally I decided to tape off the candle part of the base so I used decorators tape to cover anything I wanted to protect from the paint.

Spray the base outside and do thin coats with lots of drying time between coats.

I find it easy to use spray paints outside and I did three very thin coats and left a decent amount of drying time between each coat (a minimum of an hour). Once I removed the tape I could see that it would look better to paint the candle part of the base too so that’s what I did. And this is the finished lamp with a brand new shade…

The finished lamp with new knife pleated paper lampshade from The Lampshade Loft.

I decided to spend a bit of money on a really lovely shade as I’d only spent £3 on the base. This has been a really good way of ending up with a lamp that would have cost a lot if I bought it new, plus I have prevented the waste of an old lamp and supported a small business from whom I bought the new lampshade. Win, win!

There are some very beautiful unique lampshades available at Rosi de Ruig and Matilda Goad but if you are looking for something similar but much more affordable do try LeKrazyHorse, Pooky, Munro and Kerr, The Lampshade Loft and Compton Marbling. I’m very excited about all the knife pleated lampshades coming back on trend – I so remember having one in my room in the 80s that coordinated with the curtains, duvet cover and frieze!

Katy x



  1. Hannah Hopkins
    3rd December 2020 / 2:51 pm

    Looks great. Thank-you for the great lampshade recommendations too!

  2. Longdenlife
    3rd December 2020 / 2:54 pm

    Great upcycle! I’d recommend going on a lampshade making course, or viewing tutorials on Youtube. Much easier than you think it would be and you can choose your own material and size of shade (obviously a plain drum shape is the easiest). If you want a large drum shade in your lounge for example, you can splash out on the material you love and then buy the kit for the frame, adhesive sheets etc.

    No affiliation, but I would recommend Helen Round on the Cornwall/Devon border. I attended one of her face to face courses but she is offering them online at the moment (and also screen prints her own stunning linens with amazing natural patterns – you can buy a kit and join her online course)

  3. Shirley
    8th December 2020 / 6:43 pm

    Hi Katy,

    Minerva Workshop also run classes on lampshade-making and various other activities which are very popular – see

  4. Susan
    17th December 2020 / 5:09 am


  5. 17th March 2021 / 9:07 am

    What a fabulous makeover, love the shade too, it finishes it off perfectly.

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