French Country Lamp Makeover

This French country lamp makeover is brought to you by persistence.  The sad little French County lamp that wasn’t going to let me walk away again, convinced me at 75% off to take a chance.  So happy I did.

Isn’t it stunning?  I kind of pride myself a little on being able to see the possibilities when an item at the the thrift store has been looked over and passed over by others.  Such was the case with this lamp.  I was drawn to it right when I walked in the store, but it was marked $32.  Not exactly thrift store pricing if you know what I’m saying.

I walked away that day because…really, I didn’t need another lamp.

I walked away when it was 25% off, and 50% off, and almost walked away at 75% off.  But, she convinced me and gave me a vision for what she could be.  So, for the shocking price of just a little more than $8, I took her home.  She turned out be a real beauty.

She’s kind of like that girl in high school no one really paid attention to.  You know, the girl who goes on to be Miss America and when asked about her teenage years claims no one ever asked her to prom etc….

To photograph her, I took my French Country buffet and put on the dining room shiplap wall and staged it.  The lamp actually, in real life, sits between to sitting chairs in our living room, but photographing for detail with a window as a backdrop is kinda out of my photography skill range.  Besides, you guys never really get to see much of this French Country buffet because the TV sits above it on the wall and big giant TVs are just not blog worthy.

I must admit, I wish I could have kept this set up because it was just sooo pretty.  But, what you don’t see is my full dining room suite pushed up against the opposite wall.  LOL

Achieving this finish was actually pretty easy.  I sprayed the whole lamp with Valspar’s Paint and Primer in One spray paint (white).  Then, I mixed some dark gray acrylic paint (the craft kind) with some water until it was sort of a runny watery solution.  There’s a trick though….

The trick is to use a good quality paper towel to wipe it back.  I take the paper towel and put the whole thing in the cup of watery paint I just mixed up.  Then I ring it out back into the cup and then give it a quick run under fresh water, ringing it out again.  It’s kinda messy.

I use an artist brush to brush on the runny paint and then wipe it back with the paint stained paper towel until I get the right look.  Sometimes I blot rather than wipe to give it the look of plaster or cement.  The key is the paint stained paper towel because if you use a clean paper towel it takes too much of the paint off and the mottled cement look won’t come through.

French Country Lamp Candlesticks Kirklands

I picked up these incredible candlesticks the other day for the Labor Day sale at Kirklands.  They were a real steal ringing up at less than $6 a piece.  If you are on the hunt for some candlesticks, head the way (unless you live in Jacksonville, because I bought them all) :).

So, I would have to say, it was the best $8 I ever spent.  Now, I can’t imagine ever parting with this lamp.  I’m not sure I would ever find another one.  I guess it just goes to show…there is hidden beauty everywhere.

Don’t forget to pin it for later!  Thanks friend!

I hope you have a beautiful day friends!


22 thoughts on “French Country Lamp Makeover

  1. Great makeover! You are turning into a real French connection expert! I hadn’t heard about the wet paper towel trick before. Great tip! Love the lamp and the entire vignette. You are rockin it, as always! XOXO Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Thank you Susie! I know! I’m totally getting this French thing down I think. These great pieces are just falling in my lap.


  2. Wow, Nancy, this lamp is so beautiful — and what a buy! You did a great job at painting it, too. If I ever find such a nice lamp up here, in Canada, I will definitely be painting it the exact same way you did! Thanks, so much, for the great instructions! Nancy, I think you need to write a book on all the projects you have done as everything you touch just turns out looking so beautiful! You are great at giving us the instructions, too!
    Thanks! Have a great week!

    1. Mary-Ann, thank you so much! I’m not sure if I could write a book. I’ve never really thought about it before but I do love to write and you know I love to do projects like this. Hmmmm….now you have my wheels churning.


  3. Nancy,
    The thrift store lamp went from ugly duckling to white swan! I saw your pledge to French Country Coastal and neutrals in a comment you left on KariAnne’s post. I have taken a slightly altered version of the French Country pledge myself… lots of white, neutrals, but mixed with blue. Little by little, I, too, am beginning to get this French Country look in my house. If you ever need to have a French Country support talk, just send me a message. I will listen, nod at the right places, and shake my head also at the right places. 🙂 In KariAnne’s words, “Come sit by me.”

  4. Hi Nancy!
    Your “new” lamp turned out beautifully! So glad you took a chance and brought it home. 🙂 I have a friend Kathy who has a house that is all whites and she took a lamp similar to yours, painted it like you did, then stuck one of those unmade shades on it that she had glued soutache braid on the ribs of the shade. The last thing she did was put one of those glass beaded covers over the light bulb (since it was always going to be seen). The whole thing turned out darling! So, one day if you feel a crazy urge to do something different, this might be something fun to try, too… Just thought I’d share as I know yours would look cute that way, too. Kathy keeps hers in her bedroom as an accent light. Oh, and your buffet looks awesome on that wall! Maybe leave it there and move some other things around the house for a whole new look. <3

    1. What a great idea. I will for sure keep that in mind if I ever want to change it up a little. Thanks so much for stopping by and giving me another idea. Love it!


    1. I think it is matte. Honestly, I just used what I had left in my stash. But, if you are buying new I usually buy matte.


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