An Easy Table Lamp Makeover with Paint and Wallpaper

Do you have any old lamps that need a refresh? Unlock the power of paint and wallpaper with this simple yet effective lamp makeover tutorial. Time to let your lampshade shine!

A lamp makeover using green and white wallpaper and green spray paint.

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I can’t leave well enough alone.

This lamp.

This lamp has graced a living room table, a bedroom nightstand, and even my newlywed daughter’s home.

The blue glass base is in great shape. Lovely, in fact!

But the shade…uh oh.

What was once a lovely ivory-white shade has turned yellow with age.

A top view of an old lampshade that has turned yellow.

At a distance, the lamp looks ok. But up close, I’m afraid the lampshade has turned a rather ugly yellow. Definitely seen better days!

A basic lamp with a blue base and a yellowed shade that is in need of a lamp makeover.

I could discard it, donate it, or just buy a new shade.

Or, I could give it new life with a lamp makeover!

I went with option number 2!

By just using leftover spray paint and wallpaper, I feel like I got a brand-new beautiful lamp!

Whether you have an old lamp at home or you find table lamps worthy of saving at garage sales, a flea market, or your local thrift store, you should give this lamp project a try!

Supplies Needed

You might have seen this wallpaper recently. I used it as part of my recent half bath makeover project for the Spring 2023 One Room Challenge. I had some leftover wallpaper and tucked it away for possible use later on.

Later became sooner!

An old lampshade sitting on top of a large wallpaper scrap that will be used for this lamp makeover.

Easy Lamp Makeover

Here are the simple steps in this lamp transformation. Let’s start with the lampshade.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you have a large enough wallpaper scrap that will fit around the entire surface of the lampshade. 

The next step is to measure and mark the width of your shade on the backside of the paper. The easiest way to do this is to roll your shade on the wallpaper and mark it with a pencil as you go. While my lampshade is a drum-style shade, this technique will work on any shape lampshade.

Measuring with a ruler and pencil to create a pattern for the wallpaper.

Once you have the shade width marked, add a ½” to 1 inch to the measurement on each side. Cut out this wallpaper piece that is now slightly wider than your shade.

Spray the lampshade with spray adhesive.

Applying spray adhesive to the outside of the old lamp shade.

Place the lampshade in the center of the wallpaper (your markings from earlier are still there!) and roll the shade onto the sprayed wallpaper, pressing and smoothing as you go.

Take some double-stick tape and press along the inside rims on the top and bottom of the lampshade. Roll the overage edge of the wallpaper over the top of the shade and press against the double stick tape. 

Lamp makeover: Placing and pressing the wallpaper scrap onto the old lampshade.

The only thing to remember is that double-stick tape is….well…very sticky! So, take your time. Press and repress as needed to get a smooth edge on both the top and bottom.

(You could use a hot glue gun for this process but I found that it shows through the grosgrain ribbon.)

We’re not done with the double-stick tape!

The inside of the lampshade.

Add another layer of double-stick tape on both the outside and inside of the lampshade rims. Using a grosgrain ribbon in a coordination color, press and roll the ribbon onto the inside and outside of the shade’s rim. 

Applying grosgrain ribbon to the top of the lamp shade for this makeover.

If the double-stick tape still shows on the inside, you can easily add another layer of ribbon.

This will look like a completely different shade!

Lamp Makeover: Applying an additional layer of grosgrain ribbon in order to cover the double sided tape.

Lamp Base Makeover

Spray paint does amazing things!

I found the perfect green color to match the wallpaper and simply sprayed several light coats of spray paint onto the base. Because my lamp has a glass base, I still get a slightly translucent look to the glass and it is beautiful when the light hits it. 

​This works just as well with a ceramic lamp base. Just spray several coats of paint for even coverage.

I was so excited to add the shade and had a hard time finding the patience for dry time.  However, I managed to force myself to let the paint cure until the next day.

I added the lamp finial and the light bulb…makeover complete!

The new lamp shade with the new wallpaper covering.

The Lamp Makeover Reveal

Voila! This new look for my lamp was so much fun and could not have been easier.

Nor could the results be more dramatic!

Lamp Makeover: The completed lamp project sitting on a woven basket in a guest room.

So far, my favorite place for this new lamp is in the guest room. It gets a place of honor right in front of the window.

Giving a lamp a makeover is a surprisingly simple and fun project!

 With some wallpaper scraps and spray paint, you can easily transform an old lamp into something new and exciting for your home or office. 

Lamp Makeover: A  wallpaper covered lampshade

And while you may have already gone through your home looking for potential projects, don’t forget to dust off your own lamp in the corner. Choose one that appeals to you and give it some love!

Go on—look at an old lamp with new eyes and give it a refresh with paint and wallpaper today!


Don’t Forget to Pin It!

Pin the image below to your boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

An easy table lamp makeover using paint and wallpaper.

I’m So Glad You’re Here!

I love hearing what you think! Please leave a comment, pin a Pin, or leave a suggestion for my next project!

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  1. You are so amazing! What a fantastic makeover on your lamp and lampshade. I love how you used the ribbon on the top of it. I’m heading to find an old lamp in my basement! I know they are down there. haha

    1. Thank you, Rachel! I love this wallpaper so much, I may sprinkle it throughout my house! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My jaw dropped open when I saw this beautiful green lamp! Love the color you chose and the wallpaper is genius! Thank you for sharing it with us on Farmhouse Friday. Hope you link up again. pinned

  3. What a wonderful idea! I have a lamp I love but the shade is a disgrace! Was hoping I’d see something somewhere that might help me save it. Will this really work on a sloped shade? I’m willing to try!! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      I think it could work if you do some careful measuring. I was fairly loose with my pattern because the shade was a simple drum shade. But if you measure and allow for the pattern of the paper, I think you might have a fun lampshade makeover! Thanks so much for reading and giving it a try!

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