Friday, 11 October 2013

Another lamp makeover...not very good at all.

I absolutely love baskets. They're useful and perfect for that country look. I'd been after a basket weave lamp base for ages. They had one in a shop called OKA a few years ago. They still do a few versions here. Beautiful but well out of my price range.

About a month or so ago, I picked up this basket weave lamp base at the boot sale. I paid £2 for it. Last week I scored this lampshade for 50p. I meant to give both of them a makeover. Obviously. What is the point of buying a thing if I can't change it in some way?

The other week I received the new White Company autumn catalogue through my door. I never buy anything but I do like to window shop! Their interiors are just divine and how I'd like my home to be.

I couldn't help noticing a striking similarity between the shapes of my second hand lamp and theirs. Theirs is £100. Mine was £2.50.

When I pointed out how lucky my husband was to have me as I had saved him £97.50 he wasn't impressed. He said that we already had a lamp. Why did we need another one?

That's not the point. This one is better. It suits the room more than my lace doily creation. And it's much more baskety.

We agreed to disagree.

So, ignoring the husband, I set about transforming the base with the White Company catalogue to guide me with it's loveliness.

Ah, so true...
It all started out so well.

I turned to my trusty basket painting colour, a trial size tin of F&B Skimming Stone. Usually I dilute this and do a wash of paint but seeing as this is an electrical item and I didn't want loads of water getting inside, I used it as it was, pushing it into the nooks and crannies of the basket weave.

It looked really patchy when it dried. I did a second coat. Hated it.

I went at it with a wire brush and it was marginally better but still very anaemic. I waxed over it with antique pine wax. I hated it. I was getting fed up.

I tried a new paint colour. An Oops paint, darker than the Skimming stone. (£1 a litre!) Hated it. Really fed up now...

Dug out some F&B eggshell and had a go with that and walked away. I cannot spend all day painting the same thing over and over. I wished I'd left it dark.

I didn't have much better luck with the shade. Here's how I covered the shade in pictures... because I don't want to talk about it.

 Got that?
OK, so now we have a bland anaemic base and shade. I thought I'd make a ruffle to attach to the shade. It looked so rubbish. You can see the discarded ruffle next to the lamp.

OK, how about livening it all up with a graphic from Graphics Fairy to add a little zing.

I trudged all over town in the rain, trying to find the right sort of photocopy shop. Got my copies. I tried the blender pen transfer method. Nothing happened.

I tried the Citra-Solve method. Here's what that turned out like...

Rubbish. With a capital R.
Fortunately I did this on a spare piece of fabric.
Unfortunately I melted a carrier bag all over the back of it.

And the iron.

So there we have it. Thanks for stopping by. Now you know how to create a really uninspiring lamp. It looked so good in the White Company catalogue. Mine just blends in with the surroundings. Perhaps I need to paint the whole room white for it to work? (Sob)

I'm off for a lie down...

And I miss the hedgehog.


  1. Oh no, no hedgehog and a disappointing lamp. I had a 1950s wicker chair that tuned out similar and then I discovered spray paint and everything got better. Not to worry, 9 times out of 10 your makeovers are fantastic. Who is that handsome dark haired man in your photo? xxx

    1. Haha! The husband! When he was hot.
      Before my time sadly. He has another one that's even more 'Blue Steel!''

    2. Haha - Vix I hadn't even noticed Blue Steel in the top picture. Brilliant (although how he cannot appreciate the need for a new lamp every now and again, ESPECIALLY a more baskety one, is beyond me).

      Emma Kate; I'm very proud/impressed you persevered with so many coats of paint!! My house is full of abandoned half-projects. One of my dining chairs has been half decoupaged in wrapping paper since 2011. Oops.
      Do you think maybe a lighter fawn colour would work better for the base? The White Company base looks quite yellowy in your photo of the catalogue picture.
      Good luck with it - I'm sure you'll find a finish you love eventually.
      P.S. I reckon you should keep the peg fastenings on the lampshade- Kirstie will probably do that on her next show and you can brag about being totally ahead of the curve... :)

    3. There are plenty of half finished things around here too. Don't get me started on the cupboard I started building eighteen months ago!
      Haha! Rustic pegs! It's a new trend. You saw it here first! xx

  2. So not such a good day then, EK... You are such a perfectionist, and so hard on yourself! I think the base looks fine, so maybe just tinker with the shade/use a different shade? You know I am partial to wood and basket ware in their original state, so I am NOT the right person with whom to discuss paint effects... But I like the patchy part-rubbed-off paint on the wicker.
    Pah. Sleep on it. Admire your handsome husband, and imagine him in a boy band. Cuddle BB or FF, and try not to miss Mrs T too badly, she has gone to the right place for her. If none of that works, have a stiff G&T! xxxxx

    1. Not such a good day. Perhaps tomorrow I shall attack that lamp with renewed vim and vigour.
      I'm giggling at the thought of Jason in a boy band. That picture was taken long long ago. And he won't be happy it snuck onto the blog. He hasn't looked like that for decades. I shall try and sneak the other picture in on future posts. The first person to spot ''Blue Steel'' gets a prize! xxxx

  3. I think your lampshade needs to be larger for that size base. If you have the option of a drum shade, I would try that. I might try a grey wash over the wicker. I don't think it is as bad as you say.

    1. Thanks Teri, but another shade will eat into my £97.50 saving! ;)
      I will persevere!

  4. Spray paint sweetheart...spray paint! :--)

    1. Thank you! I will not be defeated by a lamp. ;)

  5. so irritating when stuff repeatedly messes up. i think mimic the straw colour of the one in the mag, lemon and pale grey test pots mixed? or try a black linen lampshade, they don't look black when the light is on and it would contrast nicely with the base. or ditch it and hope a better one turns up for 20p?!!

    1. So very irritating! I'm onto it this morning. When I finally manage to get dressed...xx

  6. When he was hot? Hahahaha ;) I don't think it looks anywhere near as bad as you think you know!

    Kate x
    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

  7. At least you tried. I had a big fat noticeboard fail the other week. It was going to be brilliant, I used a large photo frame and some lovely dotty linen fabric I'd been saving for a good project. I didn't have any foam for the pin board and so used a polystyrene sheet. It melted when I sprayed glue on it. Still I carried on and stuck the fabric on, it looked all bumpy and pitted with frayed edges. It was horrible and I've put it down the side of a cupboard 'cos I can't bear to look at it! Annoyed with myself that I wasted my fabric and photo frame!! So I do understand your frustration. Try it on another day with another colour and a different shade, though, and it may come good then! xx

    1. Ah yes, we've all melted polystyrene with glue at some point! Wasting your best fabric is a terrible shame. I used all the good linen on this shade so I can't stuff it up now. I don't have enough to re do it. xx

    2. I'm sure you'll come up with something that will be better than you originally planned. Sometimes we need to get it wrong, to get it right!

  8. Oh dear ... BUT I am so impressed by your patience and perseverance!! M x


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