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Thrift Store Challenge: You Light Up My Life

You know when you’re looking for something specific and you look and you look and you look and can never find it? Then you stop looking and it jumps out and bites you?


That’s how I got my latest thrifted finds for this month’s Thrift Store Challenge and I have the bite marks to prove it!.

A little known fact is that I am currently working on my Master Bedroom. I’ve been “working” on my Master Bedroom since I moved in and it’s still lacking in basically everything. The farthest I’ve gotten so far is nightstands and a dresser and finally some new bedding.

I think I might have my Master Bedroom finished around the time that we are empty nesters and move to a smaller house.


But I digress…..

So I’m walking through a thrift store looking for some pillows to use as forms for the throw pillows I recently made. Of course when you go to a thrift store its an unspoken rule that you must check every aisle, not just the one with the items you came for. Therefore I found myself wandering past the row with all the electronics and lamps and things when out of the corner of my eye I saw something amazing!

Now to get the real picture you must know I have been searching for lamps for my Master Bedroom ever since I refinished the nightstands for in there.

That’s been a couple years now. (Never mind that I still don’t have the hardware on those nightstands, that’s beside the point). You see I either couldn’t find anything I was remotely interested in (thrifting) or didn’t like the price tag (new) on any lamps I looked at. I had finally as good as given up.

So when I saw these beauties and the price tags on them I was quite certain there was something broken or nonfunctional about them. I was debating how much I felt like taking on an electrical job while looking them over for the broken bits.


There were seriously in perfect condition!

I basically ran to the checkout and forgot all about looking for pillows!

I knew just what I wanted to do with them.

The Rules

Y’all know the challenge rules by now…

Each blogger must purchase an item or items from one specific thrift store and then update or refurbish them as needed for use in our homes. We must show you exactly what we did to them and how we styled them.

Get ready, get set…

Here’s proof of the price and an up close look at the finish they had when I got them.

I began by chalk painting the lamp base with Waverly chalk paint in the color Ivory. I left a couple parts in their original color.

Be advised that the first coat of chalk paint on any project pretty much always makes it look much worse than before you started and you start to sort of “panic” thinking you maybe should have left well enough alone.

Thank goodness for coat 2!

After 2 coats of chalk paint I lightly distressed them using 120 grit sandpaper and a very light touch.

Here they are all painted and distressed. You can see the parts I left gold.

I finished them off with a very light coat of dark wax.


If you want dark wax to barely be there, dampen the item with a wet cloth just before applying the wax and apply the wax with a slightly damp cloth as well. You can then remove most of it leaving it much lighter and then apply any extra protection you need with a clear wax once you have your desired look.


When I first got the lamps I noted that the lampshades were in excellent condition even though their stripes and colors were not at all the look I was going for. I instantly thought of covering them with new fabric and retaining the lovely gold lining on the shades.

When push came to shove to finish this project I was at home with my kids and no vehicle to run to a store and after searching my fabric stash I realized I had nothing that was the look I was going for.

Time to get extra creative.

I started by removing all the trim carefully.

Next I gave the entire outside of the shades a coat of Waverly chalk paint in Ballet Slipper. Yes, you can chalk paint fabric. I’ve even chalk painted an entire sofa before!

It will bring out the rough texture of the fabric so be prepared to lightly sand between coats. I was hoping for a linen look with the texture of this fabric….

After the 2nd coat and a light sanding.

And after a good thick coat of clear wax. Yes, you read that correctly.

The wax gives a slight sheen to the painted fabric and makes it much more smooth. With lots of wax and buffing, a smooth fabric can almost feel like leather when it’s finished.

Once I had trimmed the frayed edges and used a hot glue gun to add some trim to the shades, here is what I ended up with!

Sometimes it’s good when we’re forced to get extra creative!

All told I paid $20 for the lamps, I already had the chalk paint and wax I used and I purchased some trim totaling $7.50.

What are the chances that you’d ever find a set of lamps like this for under $30? I know, right?

Did I mention they work perfectly?

Yes, I did say I was looking for lamps for my Master Bedroom and these are clearly in my Dining Room…..

Did you honestly think I was gonna show you a peek at my Master before it’s done? Pfffttttt

Feel free to pin all you like!

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Bloggers In This Challenge

Here are the other bloggers projects for this month’s challenge. Lets go check them out together!

Trash Talk – Decorate & More with Tip
Thrift Treasure – LeCultivateur
You light up my life – Stilettos and Shiplap
The Thrift Store Challenge – The Home Envy
Brass Antique Lamp – The Farmhouse Eclectic
Thrifted Jewelry Case Makeover – This Full Life 5
Thrift Store Find – The House House Blog
Thrift store challenge – Through a Vintage Door
Pretty Bowling Ball – Shabby Queen
Thrift Store Challenge – The Collected Haven
April Thrift Store Challenge – Sweet Southern Grace

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  1. You did a great job Tara! It was fun working on this challenge with you.

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      I appreciate it, Victoria. It really was a lot of fun.

  2. Shae says:

    Girl, I love how the lamps turned out!! Anyone that knows me well enough, knows I love a good chalk painted project!!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks so much, Shae! It really is such a simple and inexpensive way to give something a completely new look!

  3. You found the perfect set of lamps. You did wonderful revamping them to fit your space.

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks, Terrie! I am excited to put them in my Master soon, once I get some more work done in there.

  4. Oh wow! These are amazing. I’ve been on the hunt for some matching lamps for our master too! Great find!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      I could hardly believe it myself! I had looked for SO long for some!

      1. Tara

        Beautiful Shabby lamps! Love them, this was so much fun!


        1. stilettosandshiplap says:

          Thanks so much! It sure was….

  5. Emily says:

    Tara, these lamps went from drab to fab!! Seriously amazed at the amazing transformation!! Loving the pink, and of course, the lace!!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks so much, Emily! I’m so glad you like them.

  6. Oh wow ! now thats a transformation … I love the way they turned out. They will look perfect where ever you place them.. And the lace, LOVE!!!!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thank you so much, Teresa. I can’t wait to get my Master finished so I can put them in there and see how they look with my nightstands.

  7. Wow what a transformation! Those lamps are so cute, and what a great idea to chalk paint the lamp shades!!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thank you so much, Maren! Yes I’m happy with the way they turned out for sure. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

    2. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks Maren! I’ve chalk painted fabric before so I knew it would work….it’s a very cost effective way to transform something if the fabric is still in really good condition like these shades were.

  8. Tara these are beautiful!! I love how you painted the shades and added the trim. So pretty and creative!!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks so much, Dori. They were so simple

  9. Julie says:

    These are lovely, Tara… I could totally envision them in a white and blush girl’s bedroom, too!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks Julie. Yes there are so many place they would look so nice!

  10. What a difference! I love that you left the gold tips on the base and painting the shades was brilliant!

    Happy day friend!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Thanks so much, sweet friend! I’ve painted fabric before and this fabric had the perfect texture that I thought would turn out looking like linen when it was painted. It did! I was originally hoping to leave a little more gold accents on them and did but it just didn’t look right until I got to this amount. I’m so glad you like them.

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