Have you wondered how to make a DIY pottery table lamp? I walk you through the steps using a thrifted lamp and some basic supplies.
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If you have been following along, you will remember that last week I shared with you DIY Painted Pottery vases. I showed you two different techniques you could use to age pottery. Today’s post is an extension of that previous post but this time it involves transforming a lamp! Pottery style lamps have been increasingly popular in the last couple of years and the price tag reflects it. So, I wanted to show you how you could make your own pottery lamp with a few basic supplies and steps.
DIY Pottery Lamp
As with any project, the first thing we need to do is gather our supplies. There is nothing worse than getting half way through a project only to realize you have to run out and get some supplies. Talk about a disruption in the creative flow! Plus, I don’t know about you, but I have found that there is NEVER EVER a “quick trip” to Home Depot or Lowes. No sir. By the time I get out of those places, half my day is gone.
All that is to say, let’s make sure we have our supplies ready before we start our project. You will need the following:
- A thrifted chunky base lamp – made with clay or plaster.
- Container of joint compound
- Sandpaper 120 grit
- MMS Milk Paint in any color you choose
- Paint brush
- Small container to mix paint
- Nitrile gloves or disposable gloves
- Painters tape
- Something to protect your work surface
Step 1- Clean and Prep
As I was looking for antique and vintage treasures the other day, I came across a lamp.
Admittedly, it was not exactly stunning. It needed a little help. However, if I squinted enough, I could see that it had potential. Another bonus – it was $5. I thought – heck for $5, I can’t go wrong. So I put it in the cart.
I wanted to give the base a new look that gave it a little more sophistication and took it out of the 1980s. The first thing I did after cleaning the lamp was tape off the neck and cord using painters tape.
Then, I covered my work surface in preparation for step 2.
Step 2 – Apply Joint Compound
I wanted a more natural looking base that had texture and was a lighter color. I liked the general shape of the lamp base but I didn’t like the color or look of the existing finish. So I decided to cover the existing lamp base with joint compound.
Joint compound is ridiculously affordable. You can usually buy a generous 32 ounce container for around $20. I have linked some sources for you at the end of this post.
At first, I tired to use a putty knife to apply the joint compound but I found that it was much easier to simply wear a pair of nitrile gloves and apply the joint compound to the lamp base with my hands. Here is TIP – I recommend wearing gloves when you apply the joint compound because if you don’t, your skin will dry out quickly.
Step 3- Let it Dry
If you are impatient like me, this is the most difficult step. Once your lamp base is completely covered with joint compound, it will need at least 24 hours to dry. I know. It’s like torture. Just trust me. Let it dry.
Step 4- Sanding
The following day, take the lamp base outside and use your 120 grit sandpaper to sand down any ridges or high spots. Keep sanding until you get a texture, consistency and “look” that you like. Here is another TIP – make sure you sand the lamp base outside because the dust from the joint compound makes a terrible mess.
Step 5 – Paint the Lamp Base
I used MMS Milk Paint in the color Farmhouse White to paint the base of the lamp. I wanted a warm white color which is why I chose Farmhouse White. However, I think it would also look fabulous painted in an almost black color known as Typewriter.
As most of you know, I have recently collaborated with the MMS Milk Paint company. If you purchase any milk paint from the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this little business of mine
If you use THIS LINK to purchase MMS Milk Paint, use the code SLH10OFF to save 10% on your purchase.
Although I probably could have gotten away with only one coat of paint, I decided to give the lamp two coats of paint.
Step 6- Add A Lamp Shade
If your lamp came without a lamp shade or if the existing lamp shade needs to be replaced, now is the time to find one. Here is another TIP – when shopping for lamp shades, I usually take the lamp with me into the store to ensure a good fit. Yes, I look like a crazy lady walking through a big box store carrying a lamp, most likely with an electric cord trailing behind me. Nonetheless, I almost always have the best success in finding a lamp shade that fits correctly and looks good when I take the lamp into the store with me. It’s pretty much impossible to order a lamp shade online.
Step 7 – Enjoy your lamp
Hooray! At this point you should have a fabulous “new” lamp that looks great.
Here are some photos of the lamp after it was transformed.
Here is another photo with the light on.
I am happy with how the texture turned out and I like the new color much more. For now, this lamp is in our front entry way.
Here is one final photo of the lamp with the light off.
Shop This Post
Some readers have expressed to me that they wish I would share with them items that are similar to those I create. Although many of you enjoy DIYs and various projects, others have expressed a desire to see if there was something similar available for purchase. Well, I hear you. Below you will find some similar style lamps that you can simply purchase. I included some Pottery Barn lamps as well as a number of similar style lamps that are more reasonably priced. (As an aside, my $5 lamp suddenly seems like a bargain.)
Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you found some inspiration. If you embark upon a lamp makeover using joint compound and MMS milk paint, I hope you send me a photo of the final result.
If you liked the pine dresser shown in the photo about you can read about it here:
If you want to learn about how I aged and painted some pottery vases you can read about it here: