Monday, November 19, 2012

The right lamp and a color lesson

Have you ever needed a particular color of lamp and couldn't find it? Bethany had a vision for her guest room and looked for months for an affordable gourd-shaped lamp with THE right tangerine color.  She ordered this "tangerine" colored lamp from JC Penney and this is the color it came in:

This was NOT the tangerine saturated color we were looking for, but more of a terra-cotta, burnt orange color. The shape, the shade and the price was right, but the color was not.  We did not have any other quick option since it had to be in place last weekend, so another Powell Brower DIY evolved.
How to change that? SPRAY PAINT and alot patience. We had seen House of Fifty's post on how to makeover a lamp and knew it was doable, if we could just find the right orange color.

  • First we taped off and primed the lamp with Rustoleum's White Primer.
  • We sanded between coats with 220 sandpaper and sprayed another coat of primer.
  • We searched for the right color and found it with LIQUITEX acrylic spray paint from Michael's.  This paint is amazingly brilliant and saturated pure color. It has a matte finish that is borderline "chalky".
  • We sprayed the lamp about 4 times to get it even (since we did a lot of this at night--not the greatest idea), but the color was perfect, just not shiny enough.
  • To achieve the gloss we used Krylon Clear Glaze. This took many coats, and honestly we would have liked it more glass-like, as it did still have some spray texture to it.

BUT, let me tell you how fantastic Liquitex spray paint is! It comes in 100 colors that match the Liquitex color spectrum, is low odor, cleans up with water and can be used with other acrylic paints. It is so cool and the colors are so much better than other spray paint brands we have found.

What has become important to us lately is color saturation; in paint, in accessories, art and all those accents that make a room.

Color saturation is how vivid or intense a color is. "Pure" color pigment is used in a saturated color-- without tints (white added) or shades (black added) used to formulate that pure color.  So often colors loose their saturation when overprocessed, reproduced diluting the formula each time, or when lots of different colors are added, so the effect becomes faded, dull and washed out. (That may also be a look youre trying to achieve which can be softer. )

This is some saturated color!

I hope you have a great colorful week ahead! 


  1. I had no idea about color saturation. I really like the finished project. I want to try that paint.

  2. I am totally trying that paint on a large canvas I am working on. You could try "triple thick" clear finish. It is very shiny and glass like. It comes in pourable and spray form.

    1. I used Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze!

  3. So impresses with your DIY endeavors!
    Have a great week,

  4. I have never used this paint ... and I have several lamps that could use a little face lift!! This would be a good January project for me!! xo

  5. This is great to know. I'm always on the hunt for a spray paint with better color options. Thanks for sharing!! And the lamp looks great btw. :0

  6. OH HOW BRAVE and innovative to even try to paint over it, but it looks as if you achieved what you were looking for! That has to be a difficult color to find in just the right shade! Nancy, how nice of you to come to visit me! I remember you well! May your Thanksgiving be a beautiful one and memorable! Anita

  7. Well done- the lamp looks fabulous!!!!

  8. Great fix! I'm glad to know about liquitex. There are SO many times the "right" color just isn't available in standard spray paint. I'll check it out the next time I'm at Michael's.

  9. Will surely pass this post on to MC. We are always looking for the "right" spray paint and never find the right one.

  10. what a great learning post! I bought two orange lamps at an auction a few years ago and I love love love the orange color...I think I will actually use them somewhere at the bedding in your photo..just can catch a little glimpse of it.

  11. I was at JCP last week and nixed that same lamp because of the color! You're right the price and shape are SO good. Thanks for the great tip, can't wait to check out Liquitex!

  12. Wow Nancy that lamp looks amazing! I love the color. And I love how glossy and glassy it looks. What a great job!

  13. It looks beautiful - great result! And thanks for the heads up on Liquitex paint. Never tried it, but need to!

  14. Thanks for sharing your resource with us. I've never been happy with my own spraypaint lamp projects. The lack of high gloss kills it for me. I do love the new lamp color ! Hope you ladies have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

  15. Hey Nancy and Bethany -
    Very cool!! You all have done it again. I want to set up a spray painting room, because the last time I used spray paint it got all over our grass....and me :( Was too darn windy.

  16. Good to know. I've always wondered about how it works since you rarely hear about it. They do have an amazing colour selection so I'm thrilled to know it's a good paint as well. Love the new lamp!!

  17. You did a great job!! Love the original color, but love the new one even better!! What a pop!!

  18. Gorgeous lamp Nancy!!!! Love, love that color - so original!

  19. That yellow lamp is FABULOUS!!! i would love this for my art studio. you have eccentric taste!


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