Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The saga of the lamps

Lately the number of unfinished projects around here has been driving me crazy. So I decided that, unlike my usual M.O. of doing whatever strikes my fancy at the time, I was going to focus on one room. The living room was more or less closest to being done. I needed to make some throw pillows, finish the floor and finish the lamps. There are three lamps (of four in the room) that need to be finished. Two on the console and one on the green table. The latter would be the easiest: it just needed a new coat of silver paint and a recovered lampshade.

The console lamps, however, were a different story. I bought them forever ago at a garage sale for something like $10 for the pair. I don't really remember. I do know that they were forest green then. Not my look. But I also couldn't decide what I wanted to do with them. I didn't want them white. I couldn't decide if I wanted them a color or which one, and I didn't want them oil rubbed bronze. But that's exactly the color I ended up painting them since I needed to paint them something and I already had the ORB paint.

After a while I decided I wanted a goldy-coppery finish, kind of antiquey and hammered looking. I spraypainted them Gold Rush Metallic (again, a color I had around) and stippled on bronze paint and got this.

Not bad, but not exactly what I wanted. In fact, from a distance (like here) you couldn't really tell there was anything different, although the color was a lot less yellow than the plain Gold Rush Metallic color. I never liked how they were almost the same color as the console, though.

They stayed that way for a while until I found this picture.

That was it. That was the finish I wanted. Well, really I wanted that lamp, but I can't afford it. I have no idea how much it costs, but I know I can't afford it. So I thought I'd give doing it myself a shot. This is where things went south.

I could have sworn I took a picture but apparently I didn't, so you'll have to imagine the horror. I dabbed on gold paint, but it didn't look right so, in my infinite wisdom, I mixed gold and white and stippled that on. It looked like really bad faux finish, mostly because it was. Think 1994 Spiegel catalog, Southwest housewares collection.

At this point I decided to just try and find some goldish spraypaint that would be close enough instead of trying to layer many paint color. I went to Hobby Lobby and got some Krylon Metallics Brass. This was my second mistake, because instead of just getting gold, I looked at the color on the caps and chose that way. I knew it wouldn't be anywhere near as shiny, but I figured the color would be similar and the gold had a really pink undertone I didn't like. Here's what they looked like after that paint.

That's the same picture from above, you say? That's because they looked exactly the same.

Now this is the fourth coat of paint and third attempt at getting a gold color. I did lots of Googling and people were saying that the Krylon Gold Foil was good. Except at this point I was just done. I had no faith that any gold spray paint would ever get close to the gold I wanted, and I didn't particularly feel like arranging everything with the kids so I could go back and spend more money on spray paint that also wouldn't work.

So I painted them white. And no, there are no pictures yet because the living room is a mess, but rest assured that even painting them white didn't go smoothly. I had three partial cans of Painter's Touch Semi-Gloss White, which went on well enough, but when I went back to put on the clear coat there was fuzz or lint or something all over them. I cleaned that off, put another coat of white on, and when I went back to put the clear coat on again it was back. Again. I brushed it off (again) and put the stupid clear coat on because at this point I was just done. And, you guessed it, when I went to get them to bring upstairs there was a bunch of crap in the clear coat. It came off well enough but I don't even want to look at these lamps right now. I was hoping that I could write "I painted them white and was really surprised when I loved it." But I can't, because I really don't.

It's a lot better than the gold and white sponge paint look, though.

1 comment:

  1. I laughed out loud at “Think 1994 Spiegel catalog, Southwest housewares collection.” I can imagine that finish perfectly.

    I know that feeling of seeing something you really want. And trying to duplicate it… and being bummed when you realize the reason it doesn’t look the same is because you got it at a yard sale and painted it instead of spending a couple hundred dollars.