DIY

How to Spray Paint a Lamp (Plus the 2022 Krylon Color of the Year Reveal!)

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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Price

>$25

Time

<4 Hours

Difficulty

Easy

This post was sponsored by Krylon. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read our full disclosure.

close up of blue painted lamp sitting on oak desk

After three years of working from home, it’s about time that I make myself a proper workspace. As I was thinking about my new home office space, I knew I needed a few things: a huge desk, something that inspires me (aka nature, which in this case will be brought in through our DIY mountain wall), and a lamp.

During the winter when the sun sets at 5pm, Andrew comes home and finds me working in a pitch-black house. I love working in natural light and avoid turning on any lights in the house whenever possible. Don’t ask me why, I really don’t know.

By the time 5pm rolls around, I’m too focused on my final tasks of the day to get up to the light on. I need something within arms reach to brighten up my space when needed.

I found a lamp at Good Will for a steal of $4.99 and knew it would be perfect. The finish on it was scratched and not the most inspiring color, but it had some cool texture to it. Rather than searching for days to find a lamp I liked for less than $100, I decided to spray paint this one.

before photo of brown texture lamp covered in dust

The primary color I chose for it is the Krylon 2022 Color of the Year and let me tell you, it’s BEAUTIFUL. Not only does it go perfectly with the mountain wall, but it adds some energy to my desk. It’s bright and electric, but not overly so. I could talk about the color all day, but pictures speak louder than words. We’ll share the exact color later in this post, so stay tuned!

Let’s dive in and talk about how to spray paint a lamp!

What You’ll Need

How to Spray Paint a Lamp

If you bought your lamp secondhand like we did, you’ll want to start by grabbing a light bulb and testing your lamp. There’s nothing worse than finishing a project, falling in love with the final design, and then realizing that your lamp doesn’t actually work. It’s better to find out before you begin so that you can find another lamp to upcycle or get the lamp fixed. Once you know your lamp actually turns on, it’s time to really get started!

how to spray paint a lamp text overlay on photo of spray painting a lamp

STEP 1: CLEAN

The first step for any spray paint project is to clean off the surface you’re about to spray. Our light fixture was in pretty good condition (minus all the dust), so we were able to simply wipe it down with a damp paper towel.

wiping dirty lamp with wet paper towel to remove dust

If your lamp is pretty dirty, you’ll want to consider cleaning it with a degreaser like TSP to get the surface nice and clean. You want to be sure to remove any dust and grease so that you can get a nice, smooth finish.

STEP 2: TAPE

Once we got all the dust off, we taped off the entire cord so that it wouldn’t get any paint on it. We also taped off the area where the light bulb gets screwed into. We want to paint the outside of the socket, but don’t want to get paint on the inside area.

taping lamp socket and cord and covering lamp base with plastic to prepare for paint

Before spray painting the body of the lamp, I first want to spray paint the upper section. When we picked up the lamp from Good Will, it didn’t come with a harp. We had to add our own harp and it didn’t match the rest of the current lamp. That’s okay though, because I would’ve wanted to spray paint it brass anyway!

Since we’re starting with the upper section, I’m going to tape off and cover the rest of the lamp with some plastic so that we only spray paint the areas we want to.

STEP 3: SPRAY PAINT THE HARP

Note: If you’re like me and have to google the parts of a lamp, the harp is the thing that pokes up into the sky and holds up your lamp shade. 

Using Krylon Brilliant Metallic in Brass, spray light coats over the harp and socket. Keep your spray paint can moving and the coats light. We did a total of 3 light coats, making sure to spray from every angle. You don’t need to wait between coats of the Krylon Brilliant Metallic line, so we just kept working our way up and down and around until the entire harp and socket area were covered.

spray painting lamp harp with Krylon Metallic spray paint in Brass

We let the paint dry for one hour before moving onto the next step.

STEP 4: TAPE UP THE HARP

Since the harp was just recently painted, we opted to tape it up using delicate surface tape. We flipped the plastic that we used to cover the body of the lamp up and re-used it to cover up the harp and socket area. Once we were sure that everything was taped up and no new spray paint would get on the area we just painted, we wiped the body of the lamp again.

This time we used tack cloth to pick up those lingering bits of dust, but a damp paper towel would also work great. Just be sure that it’s fully dry before moving on.

wiping down brown lamp base with tack cloth

Krylon Fusion All-In-One has 5x stronger adhesion*, so I don’t have to worry about any additional prep steps, even though my vase currently has a glossy finish. I love that I don’t have to worry about sanding everything down or priming when using Fusion All-In-One. 

*Compared to Krylon General Purpose Paints 

STEP 5: SPRAY PAINT THE LAMP BODY

This is the moment I’ve been waiting for…it’s time to break out the beautiful 2022 Color of the Year: Satin Rolling Surf!

This color is just gorgeous and I love that it tows the line between a timeless blue-green and a fun, expressive color. It’s the same line we like to tow here at Crafted by the Hunts. We strive to create things that are creative and a little bit different, yet will still stand the test of time. I love that this color will be on my desk to keep that balance top of mind.

To apply the spray paint, I continually moved my spray paint can up and down to get a thin, even coat. I waited 1 minute between coats and applied a total of 4 coats.

spray painting brown textured lamp with Satin Rolling Surf color

On the third coat, I wanted to make sure that the grooves were getting covered from all angles, so instead of painting the lamp top to bottom, I sprayed in horizontal lines instead.

It was really well covered after 2 coats, but I always like to go over it a few more times to make sure I didn’t accidentally miss a spot.

The key to remember is to apply thin coats. You don’t want to sit and spray one area. Keep your can moving.

I’m always so impressed with the smooth finish of Krylon Fusion All-In-One. The satin sheen gives it a soft-looking appearance and overall, it just looks so professional and clean. 

lamp base painted with Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Satin Rolling Surf

Overall, the lamp barely made a dent in my spray paint can. I’d guess that I only used a little over 1/4 of a can of spray paint to get it fully covered!

STEP 6: REMOVE THE TAPE

After letting the spray paint dry for an hour, we removed the tape around the harp, inside the socket, and from around the cord. I love the combination of the brass next to the Rolling Surf blue! It feels elegant, but also fun and electric.

STEP 7: ADD A LAMP SHADE

Our Good Will lamp didn’t come with a harp or a lamp shade, so we grabbed our own. For the shade, we decided to pair it with an off-white lamp shade. It has a little bit of a texture to it that reminds me almost of sand, making it the perfect combo for the Rolling Surf lamp.

blue painted lamp on top of oak desk in front of painted mountain wall mural

Now that everything is spray painted and reassembled, it’s time to put it to use! Like I mentioned earlier, it’s exactly what my new office space needed. It’s practical and pretty and it doesn’t get much better than that!

If you love the 2022 Color of the Year as much as I do, check out these other spray paint projects that use Satin Rolling Surf!

before and after of the lamp being painted with Krylon Fusion All-in-One Stain Rolling Surf

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