August 10, 2010

U-G-L-Y but F-R-E-E

I've been working my fingers off , trying to transform an old 80's brass lamp that my mother gave me for our master bedroom. Since we're still in a financial cul-de-sac (still dealing with an empty-not-selling-and-not-renting-house, plus I've applied for something like 35 jobs and have received 6 rejections so far), anything that I can get for free I'll take! Old crappy brassy lamp with a dirty shade and headed for the trash? GIMME!

Of course I was so anxious to get the ugly out I forgot to take a before picture, but I managed to find its twin online. Now, I apologize if someone owns this same lamp and it's the pride and joy of your collection. But vintage Princess House is so not our style!

Back in the early nineties, my mother, grandmother and aunties were serial party goers. And I mean Princess House, Party Lights, Avon, and Tupperware. I'm bummed to think of some of the other potential make-over worthy goodies I've missed out on over the years, but now at least the fams know to come to me with items they think are unsalvageable.

Anyhoo, I laid on my Rub 'n Buff kind of thick, which I wish I hadn't because it didn't give me the same mercury glass affect as when I did my Pottery Barn knock-off lamp a few months ago (live and learn!). I used the shade from said lamp as well and gave the other a big frilly style one. So even though it's more solid silver than mottled silver, I still pink puffy heart it! For those who have yet to use R 'n B on on lamp, things such as the harp and light socket were actually spray painted with metallic spray paint. Rub 'n Buff doesn't stick to those kind of surfaces very well.

As for all that great empty space in the center?

Yes, those are coffee beans! I used flavored (and therefore, scented) coffee because that was all the commissary carried in the whole bean variety, but after about a full day or two the smell has disappeared (just in case you were wondering). And since the cost of the beans fit in so easily with our grocery shopping, I didn't really spend anything on this project (it took about 1.75 pounds of beans to fill it up). ;)

I've yet to put it in the bedroom, as I'm still toying with our night stands (hence why it was photographed in the living room). But now I need to find something for Jason's side. I'm definitely going to stick to the silver/mercury glass finishes, but I need to find something more masculine for him. I'm loving this one from IKEA.

It's their ├ůsele lamp and it's $60. It's not horribly priced, but back when I was making the budget for the master bedroom, I only gave myself a $75 allowance for the decor and accessories (who dropped the ball on that one?!). But I haven't seen anything that I like nearly as much as this one, and since Jason saw it, I think his little mind is wrapped around it too. So I might have to find room elsewhere to save a few bucks.

In other master bedroom news, thanks to one of my remaining birthday gift cards, I have the base of my supplies for the headboard and I have a plan of attack for the materials that will help complete it. I think Mom and I might be going out tomorrow to accomplish some of that, so we'll see how it goes! :)

I'm linking up to:
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage

UPDATE: I just got word that our house back east has been rented! Bummed that we weren't able to get rid of it, but that just took the lid off the pressure cooker we've been in. Now to find me a job!


  1. I really like that lamp with the coffee beans in it! I am a beach person so mine would end up containing sand and shells.... but I have seen TOO many of those lately so I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it. But your idea is AWESOME! Does your lamp have the same flower etchings in it as that other lamp you have pictured? If so, can you see them as well with the beans in it? I think your metal turned out perfect even if it wasn't what you intended!

  2. Oh my!! I love your use of coffee beans!! Really love it!!

  3. @Sheena--it does have those same etchings. You can still see them, but they're not as prominent, which I like since I feel like it screams Princess House. Now they're more of an after thought than a feature.

  4. Good job on the paint. I like the etchings and think the lamp would also look nice without the coffee beans. The lamps shade is a bit short... perhaps some trim is in order?

  5. @Lin--I won't be doing anything to the shade because I like how clean and simple it is. But I believe the lamp is wearing a medium sized harp, so a small one might bring the shade down a little.

  6. Stopping by from the Shabby Chic Cottage party! I am really into lamps right now. This turned out great and I love the texture and color of the coffee beans!

  7. Thank you for the nice stuff and photos! Great!


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