DIY FRENCH LAMPS easy as 1,2,3.

I have been admiring various lamps in my French magazines and Restoration Hardware catalogs.    I decided if I can turn supermarket candlesticks into something you might have dragged home from a French château, I certainly could create French looking lamps.  The steps are easy, peasy, and you’ll love, love, love the look.

If you have any of those brass lamps that were so popular a few decades ago , you’re already ahead of the game.  If not check out your local thrift shops.  Look for lamps that feel heavy when you pick them up.  They are the quality you want.  They sell for $2-$3 in our local thrift shop.

Next give them a good wipe with a little soap and water, and then rinse  well with vinegar and water, and dry.

To begin your French creations you’ll need:

.Spray paint primer (in gray or beige/light brown) You’ll get the best results if you buy Krylon Spray paint.  It adheres to the shiny brass.  Krylon Spray is not that easy to find but Canadian Tire carry a good selection.

.White latex flat wall paint.  Any shade will work.  This is an opportunity to use up those odd bits of white you have left over from other decorating projects. You use very little paint so if you don’t have any white paint pick up a sample can from Benjamin Moore.  They have small containers for very little money.

Wrap the light cord and the top part of the lamp with masking tape to protect from overspray.

Make yourself a spray booth out of a big cardboard box.  Do this in the garage with the door open, or outside.  Use a face mask and follow the directions on the can.  Spray lightly, doing a couple of coats.  This eliminates paint runs.

When the primer is dry (about an hour)  you’re ready to start creating.  Cut an old white t-shirt into generous squares.  Dampen these.  Now lightly paint (almost dry brushing) the white paint over the lamp.  immediately start wiping it off with the damp cloths.  For the first go around don’t try to bury the gray, just glaze it.   This may be the effect you want.  Dark gray  shadowed with white.  The primer really “grabs” the white  so if you want the darker look you need to be quick off the mark when you wipe.  NO PRESSURE.  If you don’t like the effect just spray it again and start over.  You CAN’T make a mistake.

I wanted a lighter base so I repainted my base with a second more solid coat of white, and then just wiped it so I had highlights of a grayed white.  Let dry an hour and you’re done.

For a different look spray paint with a light brown primer and then follow the above directions.  You’ll have a Restoration Hardware look without the price.  Very chic!!


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