How to Paint Lamps

If you’re interested in giving your home a fresh, personal touch with minimal effort and cost, painting lamps could be just the right project for you. It’s an easy way to bring new life and color to any room without having to re-carpet or buy all new furniture.

How to Paint Lamps

Painting lamps is straightforward and doesn’t require extensive art skills—all you need are supplies, some patience, creativity, and following the DIY guide we have provided below on how to paint lamps! Let us show you how painting lamps will transform your space in no time!

Needed Materials

Given below are the essential materials you’ll need to paint lamps:

  • A Lamp to Be Painted 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Primer 
  • Paint 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Clean Cloths for Wiping and Cleaning

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Paint Lamps

Step 1: Sand the Lamp

Sanding the lamp is important as it will help create an even surface and ensure your newly painted lamp looks professionally done. Start with a medium grain sandpaper and work your way up to a finer grain for an even better finish. This step is also important to get rid of any existing paint and make sure the primer sticks better.

If you’re sanding a metal lamp, make sure to use metal-specific waterproof sandpaper. You can also use an electric orbital sander to speed up the process.

Step 2: Clean the Lamp

Make sure that all dirt and debris is removed from the lamp before you begin painting it. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dust or residue left behind after sanding. Allow the lamp to dry completely before continuing with the project.

It is also important to wear gloves during this step as you don’t want to get any oils or residue from your hands on the lamp. But make sure the gloves you use are made for painting purposes and not your everyday kitchen gloves.

Wear Gloves During This Step

Step 3: Apply Primer

Before applying paint, make sure to apply primer first. This will help ensure that the paint adheres properly and evenly to the surface of your lamp. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before moving on to Step 4. This step is important as it will ensure that the paint won’t chip or peel. If possible, use a spray-on primer for the best results.

Step 4: Pick Your Paint Color

Choose whichever color best complements your space. If you’re looking for something bold, we recommend using bright colors to add a pop of color or if you prefer something more subtle, go with softer tones like pastels. But you can always play around with colors and mix and match to create your own unique shade. It’s up to you and your personal style!

Step 5: Paint the Lamp

Using the brush and paint chosen in Step 4, begin painting your lamp from top to bottom. It may take several coats to get the desired look so be patient and don’t rush through it. Make sure that each layer is completely dry before applying the next one. Always paint in the same direction and keep a consistent pressure for an even coating. When painting metal lamps, make sure to use a paint made specifically for metal.

Step 6: Let Dry

Allow the painted lamps to sit undisturbed until they are completely dry. This could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on how many coats were applied and which type of paint was used. It is also important to make sure the room you are painting in has good ventilation as paint fumes can be harmful. But if you’re ever unsure, make sure to consult a professional.

Step 7: Apply Topcoat

A top coat will help protect your lamp from dirt, dust, and other elements that can dull its finish. Make sure to apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the can for best results. When applying the topcoat, use a brush or spray on the paint in thin layers for an even finish.

Use a Brush or Spray on the Paint

Depending on which type of paint you used, you may need to apply multiple coats for a perfect finish. It is important to make sure the previous layers are completely dry before proceeding with this step.

Step 8: Let Dry Again

Once you’ve applied a topcoat, let your lamps dry completely before using them or moving them about. This will ensure that they look their best and last longer. Give them at least 24 hours before handling. Otherwise, you risk smudging the paint or damaging them.

It is also important to keep them away from extreme temperatures and humidity as it can cause the paint to bubble or flake. But make sure to consult the paint’s manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance.

Step 9: Reassemble Lamp

Reattach any hardware pieces (cord, bulb holder) that were removed in Step 1 when sanding the lamp. It’s important to do this step carefully so as not to disrupt your newly painted lamp. If you’re not sure what to do, refer to the instructions that came with your lamp or consult a professional. But if all else fails, you can always look up a DIY guide online.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Newly Painted Lamp!

Now that your lamp is all put together, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Place the lamp in its designated spot and admire how it has transformed the space. Always remember to use the lamp as instructed by the manufacturer and clean it regularly for the best results. It’s also important to keep wax or polish away from the lamp as it can damage its finish.

Step 11: Clean Up

Be sure to clean up any paint or primer spills when done painting lamps. This will help prevent future messes and keep you from having a dried-up paint job the next time you go to use your freshly painted lamps. If you need help cleaning up, always refer to the paint manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

Follow these steps on how to paint lamps for a perfect finish on your painted lamp. With patience and creativity, anyone can create a stunningly transformed space with their own DIY lamps. Painting lamps are an easy way to bring new life to any room without breaking the bank or having to buy all-new furniture. Have fun and let us know how it goes! Best of luck!

Do You Need to Hire a Professional?

If you don’t feel comfortable taking on a DIY project like this, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. Professional painters are experienced with painting lamps and can provide the perfect finish to your project.

Painters Are Experienced With Painting Lamps

However, hiring a professional may be more expensive than if you were to do it yourself. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to update your home, painting lamps is a great option!

If done correctly, painting lamps is an easy and enjoyable project that anyone can take on. With the right materials and guidance, you’ll have a stunningly transformed space in no time. Have fun and let us know how it goes—good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Use Spray Paint to Paint Lamps?

A: Yes, you can use spray paint to paint lamps but be sure that the area is ventilated and wear a mask for safety. It’s also important to remember to use light, even coats when spraying the paint onto the lamp for best results.

Q: How Many Coats of Paint Should I Use?

A: This depends on what kind of finish you are looking for and how much coverage is needed. Generally speaking, two to three thin coats should be sufficient for most projects. However, if you need more coverage or want a thicker finish, feel free to apply additional coats until you get your desired look.

Q: Is Sanding Necessary Before Painting Lamps?

A: Yes, sanding the lamp is necessary in order to create an even and smooth surface prior to painting. This also ensures that the paint adheres properly and will last longer on the lamp. Be sure to use finer-grain sandpaper after using the medium one for an extra smooth finish.

Sanding the Lamp is Necessary

Q: What Types of Paint Can I Use?

A: You can use either latex or oil-based paints, depending on the look you are going for and what type of surface your lamp is made from. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before applying any type of paint to ensure that it will work with your project.


Painting lamps is both inexpensive and easy to do, if you have the right supplies and follow a few simple steps. It’s a great, rewarding task that can be done in the afternoon or evening. You can easily customize your lamp to match any room décor or color scheme by painting it whatever color you like. With just a bit of planning and preparation, the process can be enjoyable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Now that you know how to paint lamps, go ahead and give it a shot! And when you’ve mastered this skill, challenge yourself even further by learning how to measure the thickness of glass in a window! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make your home dreams come true with DIY art projects!

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