Feb 7, 2011

diy gold leafed lamp

i found this lamp about three months ago 
for $3 at a local thrift store.
i completely flipped over the size and shape,
and knew i could make it into something special.
although it looks wood, it is actually some type of resin.
it is very heavy and well made, 
and i love the slight wood grain and 
the scratches and dings all over it.
i knew i wanted to use this lamp in my "new" den, 
and so when i decided to paint the walls of my "den" a dark, moody blue, 
i thought gold might be a nice contrast.
i remembered seeing a chest that jenny had silver leafed
and thought that this lamp would look great gold.
plus, it was so easy!
what i used:
gold leaf
gold leaf spray adhesive
foam brush
my 9 year old daughter as slave labor
 i taped off the base, which i did not want to be gold leafed, 
and lightly sprayed the lamp with the "gold leaf" spray adhesive.
(i paid about $7 for that little can of specialty adhesive, 
but i thought it smelled and worked exactly like my beloved 
super 77 spray mount. if i had it to  do over again, i would
have just used spray mount)
then,  i gently applied the gold leaf sheets to the lamp,
and used the foam brush to press it in to the crevices.
here it is finished.
it was a little messy, but totally easy!
as you can probably see, the neck of the lamp was 
WAY too long...any shade that i put on 
looked completely ridiculous. 
plus, the top was all "wonky".
so, i called a local lamp repair company
to see how much they would charge me
to cut down the neck and rewire it.
as soon as i heard "$27",
i raced over.
here is my almost complete lamp:

the lamp was rewired 
and 3" were cut off the neck.

i still need to touch up the base.
it's a little dinged up.

i was really impressed with all the work that
i was able to get done for $27!
i also need to buy a new shade for it.
of course, i have an old yucky shade that
came with another thrift store lamp i bought...
i might just recover it in a nice linen.
or, use this restoration hardware drum shade that
i picked up for $1 (YES, $1!!) at the 
downeast clearance center. 
you can't tell
from the pictures, but it is in bad shape as well...
it has some stickers on the back and it
is really dirty. maybe it would look good
covered in the linen...
hmm...decisions, decisions.
which shape do you think would looks best?
linking to:


  1. Gorgeous, it's amazing what a little gold leaf can do! I love all the distressed marks and the shape is very cool too.

  2. I like the second shade better. Love the gold leaf. So want to try that.

  3. I like the second shade better and think you could use a dark blue linen (perhaps with a gold emblishment?) to cover the shade to match your walls. I think that would be divine.

  4. I like the second shade also, and love reading your posts--you inspire me!

  5. This really came out well. Dont you just love a great jaunt to a thrift store? I know I do.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  6. I'm voting for the second shade...the gold leaf was a great idea!

  7. That is a great price for a lamp repair, the place I use would charge twice as much, too bad such places are hard to find!

    You lamp is gorgeous! Janell

  8. Wow I can't believe you did all that to the lamp for under $30. It looks so good; I love the idea of the gold leaf. I think I like the second shade better!

  9. I'm loving all things gold lately. I've worked with silver leaf and know that it's not difficult, it's actually kind of fun and relaxing. I think I could do this.

  10. I found that exact same lamp at a thrift store!

  11. Love how it turned out.
    Out of curiosity: why gold leaf instead of gold spray paint?

  12. lauren,

    gold leaf has a depth and sheen that just can't be matched by gold spary paint...at least not any that i have used.
    plus, i really like that the gold leaf doesn't adhere to every single centimeter of what every it is being applied to...it leaves these little cracks and imperfections that i just love.