Thrifted Mid-Century Lamp Makeover

Dont you just love it when a $5 lamp transforms into a beauty that you will treasure for years?? It’s simply amazing what you can do with spray paint.

I went thrifting over the weekend and found an old lamp at Habitat for Humanity Restore. I try to go thrifting every couple of months, but with Covid many shops were shut down temporarily. Since they opened up again I’ve got some catching up to do!

Here is the “before”. I like the shape. I haven’t seen many like this. It had a few very small chips.

I did a Google search of the label, “Royal-Haeger” and found the company had manufactured many lamps during the 40’s to the 60’s, as well as pottery and vases since the 30’s. The lamp is not valuable, but it is authentic. Nice to know.

Supplies for the Mid-Century Lamp Makeover

Spray Paint, Polycrylic Spray Finish, Paper and Frog Tape

I had spray paint left over from the End Table Project, so I used both colors to make a rough blend. I like to use Rustoleum Paint and Primer for simplicity. I have been using the colors Lagoon and Ink Blue, both in satin finish for several recent projects. I prefer a satin finish for most projects because it shows the flaws much less than a shiny finish.

I finished the lamp with a protective coat of Polycrylic in a matt finish. All you need is some protective paper and frog tape to keep the overspray from getting on the lamp parts.

Fabric for the Shade, Spray Adhesive, Hot Glue and Clips

I carefully stripped the trim and the old burlap fabric off the lamp shade. I believe it was original. The shade was falling off the wire frame so I had to be careful with it and hot glued it in a few places so it wouldn’t completely fall apart.

I had some cute burlap fabric with teal polka-dots left from our previous home, where I had sewn simple straight panels and hung them from clips on the window on the front door. I’m so happy I had exactly the right amount of fabric left over, I have a love of polka-dots! I love adding a little whimsy to a room.

I ironed the fabric to get out any folds or wrinkles. Then I laid out the shade so that I knew the fabric would cover completely. Usually lamp shades are narrower at the top than they are at the bottom so the fabric will need to accomodate that.

I sprayed Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive in sections and smoothed the fabric on over the shade, eight- to ten-inch sections at a time. Then I folded the fabric over the top and bottom, held with clips until it dried. I left it about an hour.

After it dried, I trimmed the edges to 1/2 inch and hot glued them over the wire. Then I hot glued some teal double fold bias tape that I had on hand. I thought it would be better to cover up the raw edges of the burlap and I’m glad I had the tape on hand. (I have a lot of supplies after sewing for nearly 50 years!)

You can purchase bias tape in 3 yard packages at Joann Fabrics, or any local fabric store, or online at They also have Wright’s brand bias tape on Amazon.

Easy Restorations are the Best!

After everything was dry, that was it! It was a very easy project and I’m so happy with the results. Cute and whimsical, stately in size, one-of-a-kind, and colors perfectly coordinated. One less lamp in the landfill and one more Mid-Century treasure in my living room!

Total Cost < $10!

Categories:   Mid-Century Thrifting


  • Posted: March 21, 2021 01:47


    Just found your site and am glad I did - thanks for sharing your talent.