This DIY Rustic Table Lamp idea is so easy and inexpensive you’ll wonder why you were coveting that expensive Pottery Barn look a like to begin with. I know I did.
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This project is part of my Thrifty Thursday Series where I team up with some other talented ladies to bring you a little dose of DIY inspiration on a budget to help you update your home.
Make sure to check out the other fun projects at the bottom of this post!
But I’m super excited to show you this DIY rustic table lamp makeover today because it is so stupid easy and it can literally make any old lamp look like an expensive pottery piece in practically no time at all.
DIY Rustic table lamp inspiration
Lamp makeovers have to be my favorite DIY transformation. They’re easy, DIY friendly and you can always switch up the look if you grow tired of it.
In fact, I just wrapped up the cutest glitter and gold ombre lamp for my daughter’s new little girl bedroom and it is perfection!
I’ve had this pair of thrift store lamps through our last three homes, and I love them. In fact, I think they might be the only lamps that stayed with us throughout all of our moves.
Lately I’ve started to get tired, err lazy of dusting off the clear glass all the time and was craving a new look for this duo.
I’ve had my eye on this Pottery Barn Faris lamp for the longest time, but with all the renovation projects we have going on at the moment, I just can’t justify the $300 price tag.
But when I came across Kate from Centsational Style’s DIY Earthenware vase tutorial I knew I could use a similar process to get a DIY rustic table lamp look on a budget.
diy rustic table LAMP supplies
- Spray Primer or Flat Finish Spray Paint
- Various Shades of Flat Acrylic Paint – I used Black, Peppercorn, Prairie Sage & Boulder
- Chip Artist Brushes
- Lamp(s) of choice
- Flour – All I had on hand was tapioca and it worked just fine
how to create a diy rustic table lamp to look like the pottery barn faris lamp
I promise that when you read through these steps you’re going to think it’s so simple and want to go tackle more than just a lamp with this look. I actually went a little DIY crazy and painted some old thrift store vases with the leftover paint.
step 1 – prep your lamp
Start by protecting your lamps electrical components. Depending on your base you can either tuck your cord neatly back inside it like I did here, or you can wrap it up inside of plastic ziploc bag and tape it shut to avoid paint from covering it.
Next, use another ziploc baggie to cover and protect the light bulb base and tape it shut as well.
step 2 – prime your lamp base
You’ll want to cover the entire lamp with a base of primer so that your acrylic paint will stick to it and not flake off.
Since I didn’t have any spray primer on hand, I opted to use a simple can of flat white spray paint. It dries with a gritty flat surface so I think it would do a similar job as primer for this project.
step 3 – mix your ACRYLIC paint
Starting with your main color as your base coat. I actually used a combination of black and peppercorn as my base coat because I wanted a deep charcoal gray color that I just couldn’t seem to find in the craft aisle.
Next, you’ll want to mix in about 2 tablespoons of flour for every ounce of paint and stir.
It’s not exactly a precise measurement, but you can eyeball it to get the texture you’re going for. Adding in more flour to your paint will give it a thicker gritty texture that will just give your lamp even more character.
I tried a similar tutorial on an old thrift store vase using dirt this spring.
step 4 – apply your base coat
Once your lamp is dried from it’s primer or spray paint you’re ready to get started creating your rustic lamp look.
Using a large chip brush you can start applying your base coat of paint to the lamp. Brush the paint on in thick horizontal strokes making sure to cover the surface entirely.
Don’t worry about perfection in this step. It’s meant to look like an old worn pottery piece so the messier the better.
Once you’ve finished applying your base coat of paint you’ll want to let the lamp dry for at least a half hour to allow the paint to cure. The flat finish of the acrylic paint tends to dry super quick which makes it great for a fast DIY project.
After the paint has had a chance to dry you’ll be able to see any areas that might need a second coat to cover up the spray paint. Go ahead and reapply your base paint and let the lamp dry again.
It was about this step that I was already getting obsessed with the color and texture of the lamp. It looked so rough and imperfect, but that color!
step 5 – apply your lighter colors
Next, your’re ready to start applying your lighter colors of acrylic paint for a textured, layered look. Follow the same steps as above to mix in the flour with your paint colors and you’re ready to apply it to your lamp.
I started with the next lightest paint color and worked my way up to the lightest one last. It gives it a gradual fading look. This painting step is just a tad more precise than before. Because you want to be careful not to apply the paint too heavy.
Start by lightly dipping your brush in the paint mixture and then wiping off the excess onto a paper towel or piece of cardboard. You want the brush to be practically dry. Test it out by continuing to wipe the brush onto your paper or cardboard surface until barely any paint comes off of it.
This is a dry brushing technique that’s used pretty common in chalk painting to give furniture that chippy layered look.
Now you’re ready to apply the paint to your lamp. Using a mix of vertical and horizontal strokes, lightly brush the paint on to cover the entire surface. You’ll notice it barely covers the lamp, and that’s the point.
Continue repeating this process with your next lightest colors to add another layer of distressed look to your lamp. This is the exact same technique I used on my DIY plaster vase also. You can check out how it looks on a more textured surface.
And finally, if you feel like you might have gone too heavy on some of the lighter paint colors I have a trick. You can always go over top of everything very lightly with your darkest color to tone down the distressing a bit.
I got a little heavy handed with the paint a few times. And I found this was the best trick to darkening it back up a bit.
diy rustic table lamp reveal
I’m super happy with how this easy DIY project turned out. Not too bad for a couple of thrift store lamps and about $4 in craft paint right?
Don’t they just add the perfect rustic touch to this space?!
Love getting a Pottery Barn look on a budget? Wait until you see these DIY outdoor concrete tables we knocked off this summer!
be sure to check out these other thrifty thursday projects
- Refinished Folding Table From Practical Whimsy Designs
- DIY Memory Pillow from The Inspired Decorator
- DIY Rope Basket from Windmill & Protea