How NOT To Paint A Ceramic Lamp

This, my friends, is my post on how you are not supposed to paint a ceramic lamp. I thought this to be a simple spray painting job. Oh no. Apparently, I'm quite the impatient spray painter.

This was my victim.

found this lamp at a thrift store for 50% off of $3.25. It started out this loverly shade of electric purple. Perfect for all you one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eaters out there{seriously, can you think of anyone else this lamp would be more perfect for?}.

Anyway, I decided that I would change it. I would make it look like the box it came in. Sort of.

This is what I used:
  • Spray primer{not in the picture but I used Krylon brand}
  • White gloss spray paint{Krylon}
  • Gold metallic spray paint{Rustoleum}
  • Clear gloss spray paint{Krylon}
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Painter's tape

First I taped off the cord and the socket so I wouldn't get paint on it. Then I sanded it to rough up the smooth surface and primed it with the spray primer. Next came the white spray paint.

And therein lies the tale.

The most important thing{besides good ventilation} is to actually follow the directions on the can! There are some things that are forgiving if you over spray, like picture frames. Smooth spherical ceramic is not one of those things.

Second coat and I ended up with awful drips. So, more sanding. I was pretty careful after that with the paint but if you look close, you can still see the drip marks under the layers of paint. I got impatient with sanding too.

Finally, the painting was done. Or so I thought. I started on the gloss and, first thing, drips everywhere. So now I have to sand the gloss and repaint.

Fast forward and I'm taping the newly finished white lamp off so I can spray paint part of the socket. I guess I didn't do the best job because I ended up with a few gold speckles on the white lamp. Then, when I went to touch up the white, I got white speckles on the gold. Finally, after quite the back and forth, the lamp was completely painted and top-coated.

Here is my finally finished product! It isn't perfect, but hey, what is?

I splurged on this lampshade from Target. I was afraid that if I covered or painted the original shade the purple would still show through and make it look funky. Plus this shade is pretty. I've loved it for some time.

Hubby likes it too. Score!

So now I know. Be patient. Don't spray one spot for long, keep it moving. Actually hold the can 12 inches away. Those directions are actually worth something after all.

In spite of all my efforts to ruin it, I think it turned out anyway.

I win, lamp. Muahahaha!

Any DIY horror stories to share?

Link Parties:
Inspire Me @ Liz Marie Blog
Sunday Linky Party~Suburbs Mama
DIY Showcase~VMG206
Pin It Monday~My Snippets Of Inspiration
Give Me The Goods~Rain On A Tin Roof
Before and After Party~Thrifty Decor Chick
Time to Sparkle~Love Grows Wild
Assets and Efforts~Hickory Trail
Brag About It~VMG206
Wildly Original~I Gotta Create
Hookin Up with HOH~House of Hepworths
The Happy Monday Show & Share~Happy Wifey


  1. I have a similar problem with spray painting. I just can't seem to be patient enough! I love what you did with the lamp. That shade is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who is patience challenged when it comes to spray paint!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by and linking this up with the DIY Sunday Showcase! Love the new look of the lamp. Jen @ PinkWhen

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by and linking this up with the DIY Sunday Showcase! Love the new look of the lamp. Jen @ PinkWhen

  4. This is such a perfectly timed project for me! I just decided yesterday to paint a lamp in our guest room, and I am WAY impatient too. So I will have to be sure to try to calm down and take my time. :)

    1. Do it! I love spray paint but the stuff sure is persnickety. Hope your lamp turns out amazing!

  5. Oh gosh! That sound like I did it! I have no luck with spray paint. No matter how far or how many "thin, even coats" I spray, I just can never get it to not look streaky. Even though it took you quite the effort, your lamp turned out so cute! Great job!

    It's Always Ruetten

    1. Thank you! I really love it and, hopefully, no one will look too close when they come over!

  6. I have a love/hate relationship with spray paint, too. That 12 inches does make a difference. Your lamp turned out cute!

  7. I just finished blessing out a can of spray paint! I feel your pain. The lamp looks great. Love the gold!

  8. What are darling lamp!

    So glad you linked up with us at the BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Link and Hop.

    Have a wonderful week~
    Sharon and Denise!

    Follow us:
    Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin ~ Pinterest

  9. This made me laugh. I had a spray paint failure when I refused to believe that spray paint for metal couldn't be used on ceramic. Oops.

    1. That so sounds like something I would do!

  10. Thanks for the tips :) I'm planning a bunch of painting projects in a few months so I'll be sure to read the instructions carefully.

  11. What an awesome transformation, everything looks better in white. Thank You so much for sharing on last weeks party. Hope to see more from you on my next party.

  12. It's gorgeous! You would have no idea you had trouble painting it. Don't we all at some point? Thanks for sharing at Give Me The Goods Monday!
    Jamie @Better With Age

  13. Hi Elizabeth,

    I love it. It's pretty. Thank you so much for linking up with us at Pin It Monday Hop. We will be featuring your project on Thursday. Please stop by when you get the chance.

    Pursuit of Functional Home

  14. It looks very nice :) Thanks for linking up at! I will try to host every Monday :)

  15. Ceramics
    Great blog! It's a great pleasure reading your post.It's full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that The content of your post is awesome" Great work


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