This is NOT going well

I am so disappointed.

I had such high hopes for this project, but it is just turning out badly, badly, badly.

Why is it so hard to paint these lamps?  I mean, I’ve painted lamps before – and it turned out pretty well.  And it took me practically no time at all.

But this project is different.  It is taking FOR-ev-ER and the results are totally sucky.

Remember these?

1970s ugly lamps

I wanted to turn them into something modern and fun.  Inspired by photos like these, I decided to go BIG yellow…

vintage ginger jar lamp yellow

That’s my yellow ginger jar lamp – isn’t it pretty?  That photo is from my post about tea staining a lampshade.

And this old photo of a lamp that Target sold was cool…look at that perfect finish..

target yellow lamp

And Remodelaholic painted a lamp yellow and it turned out great…

yellow-lamp-after remodelaholic

So why does my project look like this?

detail of hand painted lamp

I was good a primed everything first – the primer covered perfectly!  I should have quit there.

primed 1970s lamp

I tried using a brush to apply some enamel paint, but it covered terribly so I abandoned that..

lamp hand painted partly done

And I switched to spray paint.  It covered better, but still there are problems…

spray painted lamp not covering detail


spray painted lamp detail

Why isn’t it covering those grainy spots?

I think the project still has potential, but I am loathe to even go NEAR these things right now…

both lamps

Any thoughts on how to salvage these?




  1. Maggie:
    Some days and projects are like that……
    Am thanking you for your earlier lamp painting projects that taught me a thing or two and added to my all things painted book of knowledge.

    I am working on a piece of furniture (slowly, ’cause I’m still learning) and had similar pores in the wood that I see in one photo of your lamps. I used a medium stiff brush to push ASCP into the pores. In another place, the holes were so obnoxious I gave up the delicate method and used my fingers to force wood putty into the ‘holes.’ After sanding, it looked ‘normal.’

    This might not help you, though I hope it does, but it illustrates how we often have common painting problems and each of us figures it out alone. (Unless it’s a problem another has solved and passed on in book or blog).
    Wishing you good luck with getting this project done and outtathere!

    • Maggie Green says:

      Thanks for the encouragement and tips, MJ! I was thinking of sanding the stubborn spots – but really fussing the paint in there is another good idea. I’ll pick up on them again – I might try to distract myself with a different project in the mean time and get back to them next week. Good luck with your furniture!

  2. Try gesso next time as a primer, a bit more expensive but it makes a huge difference in the base you are working with.

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