Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brass swing-arm lamp re-do

The brass, swing-arm lamps that flank our bed were here when we moved in. I'm sure my mom found these while thrifting years ago. While I haven't always been a fan of them (mostly because of the brass and the lampshades that catch dust like crazy), I have been grateful for bedroom lighting that doesn't take up any extra nightstand space. We're cramped in there, to say the least! 

The Before:

I had never really pictured swing-arm lamps as a permanent lighting solution in our bedroom, but when I saw this lamp from Pottery Barn I changed my mind.

Pottery Barn Chelsea Swing-Arm Sconce

The Pottery Barn lamps are great, but they're $99 each. Not in the budget. What is in the budget? Spray paint!

First, I washed the lamps with soap and water and then with alcohol. I decided to skip sanding since I'm applying a primer. Tape off any areas you do not want to paint.

I applied two light coats of Rust-Oleum Clean Metal Primer. I waited about 15 minutes in between coats. 

After allowing the primer to dry, I applied two coats of Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Nickel spray paint. 

I finished it with a coat of Krylon Satin Finish. It's a non-yellowing protective finish. I figured since I'll be swinging the lamps back and forth, I should apply something to protect the new paint job. I also removed the pleated fabric covering the shades. I like the plain white and plan on covering them with fabric. I would leave the shades as they are, but there is some glue residue from the previous fabric and they look unfinished up close. 

The After:

The products used in this project:

  • Rust-oleum Clean Metal Primer
  • Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Nickel
  • Krylon Satin Finish 1323

The lamps turned out even better than I thought they would! I can't wait to go to bed and read with my "new" lamps!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this lamp redo. I have two lamps exactly like yours. I wasn't sure how the movable arms would do with spray paint. Did the paint make the parts stiff to move when you were done? Your lamp looks fabulous. Mine also have the same pleated lamp shades. You just gave me a great idea for a possible lamp shade redo as well.

    Great Job!


  2. Thank you, Cristine! I painted these almost two years ago and I'm happy to report that they have held up well. There are no issues with the moving parts - they operate the same as before I painted them!

  3. OMG I have the same lamps and want to paint them silver too. I was worried about the moving parts also. Here it is 4 years later and I am so thankful I found your post.