Iron Craft ’13 Challenge 15 – Bedside Lamp Redo

For this Iron Craft challenge we were to make something to use for the bedroom or sleeping. I struggled with an idea. At first, I thought I’m make some sleep shorts from old pillowcases. Problem is I’m still using my old pillowcases and didn’t see any I liked in the store that cost what I wanted to spend. Then I thought about finishing a pair of Ikea nightstands for the new loft. My husband though wasn’t sold on this idea and, after looking at the nightstands in person, either was I. I looked around at what I had and decided to redo the Ikea bedside lamps we are currently using for the new place. Here is the original lamp.
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo
It is a fine lamp, but it is brown and our new bedroom is gray, black and white. They are Ikea so certainly cheap enough to replace, but since they still work perfectly I figured I’d just refinished them instead. I could have just gone black to match the steel bed frame, but I wanted to add a little metallic to the room (and I had a can of chrome spray paint). Here is the redone version.
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo

Bedside Lamp Redo


  • metal, wood or plastic bedside lamp base
  • 220 grit sand paper
  • soft cloth
  • tape (I used scotch but painters or would probably be better)
  • small ziplock bags
  • protective surface to paint on such as newspaper
  • 1 can spray paint (I used Krylon Premium Metallic Original Chrome*), make sure it is the correct paint for the material you are painting)
  • 1 can spray clear sealer (I used matte for a less shiny look and will show you the difference below) (optional)
  • lamp shade to fit base

1. Prepare the lamp base for painting – If your lamp currently has a shade remove it. Lightly sand the lamp to remove the shininess from the existing finish, this also helps the new paint adhere. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe off the dust and clean the lamp.
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo
Coil the lamp cord into the ziplock bag and seal it. Tape over any cord that is showing.
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo
Place on a protected surface in a well-ventilated area without too much wind.

2. Paint the lamp – Using smooth even strokes paint the lamp. It is best to do a lot of thin coats instead of one thick one. Follow the directions on your paint for re-coating and drying times.
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo
3. Optional sealant – Once the lamp is dry, you can seal it with a clear coat. This will help keep the paint on and from changing colors. I used a matte sealer on my chrome paint which changed the finish a lot. I actually like it as it looks more like steel than shiny chrome now.
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo
4. Finish – Once dry, add new lampshade.

* I struggled with this paint and it was not the first time. It says it gives a look of plated metal, but for me it always looks gritty instead of shiny and smooth. Then when you touch it you get covered in a silver dust. (This same thing had happened to me on an earlier project.)
Iron Craft '13 Challenge 15 - Bedside Lamp Redo
I thought perhaps I hadn’t cleaned up from my sanding well enough so I re-sanded and dusted everything. Same issue unless I sprayed really close to the lamp and put a lot of paint on, then I got the flat shiny look, totally against the rules of spray painting. Even this left some powder on my hands, so it was a good thing I was adding the sealant.

Have any of you ever working with metallic spray paint? Am I doing something wrong? Is it this paint? Is there a trick I am missing?

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4 Comments to Iron Craft ’13 Challenge 15 – Bedside Lamp Redo
    • DrRuss
    • Great project. Is that a new shade as well or did you do that too? Well done. Spray paint and I never got along so I have nothing to offer you there. Still amazed that you are keeping all of these balls in the air with your busy life.Total admiration from me.

    • Abbie
    • I love the Rustoleum Black Metallic spray paint, but I have used several different brands and colors of silver metallic paint with cheap looking results if it’s a larger piece. (Fine for small accents, though.) I don’t know why the silver/chrome kinds look cheap, and although the paint goes on well, I’ve not been happy with the finished product. Your new lamps look great, though! A huge improvement!

    • Susi
    • I love the way they came out!
      Funny: look at the picture before you start painting, when the chord is in the bag. There is a tiny pair of feet standing at the base of the lamp, ready to paint.

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