Project Fail Turned Success: Lampshade Makeover

October 17, 2011

Some projects are smooth sailing the entire way, like this, and some are NOT!

From the get-go this project was just fail, fail, fail – it had FAIL written all over it.  BUT once I put my “thinking cap” on, things made a little turn for the better.  The result?  well…you have to read on to find out how ~

To give you a peak, this is the end result, but it took some time getting here (to say the least).

The story begins in a far away castle with a princess searching for a crowned jewel garage with a DIYer attempting to revamp a lampshade.

I felt like our front room (a.k.a. living room) needed another reading lamp.  I had an extra lamp base and shade in the basement and thought it would be a perfect addition to the space.  The lamp base was slender and the shade wasn’t overly big, and I knew it was the right size and shape to fit well with the other lamp and hanging fixture in the room.  What I wasn’t thrilled with was the austere white shade.  The room has warmer tones and the shade was too stark.

What to do?

Spray paint is the answer!  A little spray paint can do wonders, right?!

I set off with my can of spray paint in hand, and worked this baby over!

I’m spraying and spraying, but something is wrong.  The shade isn’t looking as I envisioned, UGH!  After it completely dried, the paint started to flake off and it looked like piles on an old, worn sweater.

What to do ? What to do?

I thought and thought?

How about sandpaper??  Spray paint always does the trick in making something over and sandpaper does the trick to take something off!

So I started lightly sanding and thought, this is looking good…   Can this project be a complete FAIL turned SUCCESS??

Well, I continue my sanding around the entire shade, and yes, it worked!  THANK YOU BRAIN!

I was really liking how the sandpaper gave the shade a leather-like texture.

And here it is in the space~

Not quite the right spot.  How about here?

That’s just right! It’s a perfect spot and PERFECT COLOR!  Just what I envisioned all along (NOT) – but I have to say, I’m quite pleased!  (And guess what, that lamp base didn’t always look like that – stay tuned and I’ll share that makeover soon!)

One last thing I had to show you…

I made a little boo-boo on the driveway while spray painting – Oops!

Advice: Put a tarp under your spray painting area – Lesson Learned

In the end, all went well, but as you can see, not every project is a success.  To be honest, many DO NOT turn out as planned, but that’s the fun of DIYing (sometimes)

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  1. It’s always nice to see other crafters have some trouble now and then…however, what a great outcome! I love it! Can’t wait to see how you did your base. –
    Michelle Paige recently posted..‘Eye’ Appreciate You! Halloween Goodies!

    • There is definitely “trouble” now and then with DIY projects – you just never know how something will turn out. Sometimes the result is amazing and other times, not so much!

  2. I have myself a handful of #fail projects!!! Yours was most certainly not one though, looks great!

    Pamela @

    • Glad it’s not just me Pamela! Just trying to keep it real… This one wasn’t too bad of a fail, but honestly there aren’t many projects that result in how I envision, lol – just sayin’!

  3. Hilarious because we’ve all been there Jenna!! :)

    love ya!
    Carrie@221vision recently posted..Everything.

  4. What a fabulous turn around! I spray painted a lamp shade once and threw it out because it also did that flaky sweater thing. If only I knew :-)
    Jessica @ Decor Adventures recently posted..Pumkin Patch Photos

    • Darn, wish you saw this post before throwing your shade away. Well next time you know! I’ve done that before though – live and learn, right?

  5. This is a new use for spray paint! I love it! Spray paint is amazing. Here’s a thought – find a color that matches your driveway and do a little touch up! I think I’ll see if I have a lampshade that would do with a little update like this. :)

    • You are so right Revi — spray paint is amazing and can transform anything! Good idea about the driveway – I might use that!

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