DIY Terra Cotta Table Lamp Dupe

A thrifted $5 table lamp gets a DIY terra cotta paint makeover and new designer dupe look.

Oh. my. gosh. I set foot in a thrift store for the first time in MONTHS the other week and it was gloriouuuuuuuus!

I mean angels basically sang.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear? (Wait… wrong season. Sorry.)

A so-dated-its-now-back-in-style table lamp for $5. Okay, well it isn’t really in style. But its shape and texture is super close to the trendy, earthy lamps in high end stores right now.

$5 thrifted lamp

I immediately snatched it up and knew it could look JUST like this $300+ PB lamp using some paint I had.

DIY Terra Cotta Table Lamp Dupe

Supplies Used:

  • Medium gray acrylic paint (I ended up mixing together white and black Fusion Mineral Paint since I didn’t have a gray… resourcefulness here)
  • White acrylic paint
  • Chip brush
  • Paper towels
  • Dark wax
  • Wax brush

The Steps:

1. I mixed up my medium gray paint first and applied it all over the lamp in one coat.

black and white acrylic Fusion Mineral Paint to make medium gray paint

table lamp painted gray

2. Once the gray was dry, I dry-brushed on the white. If you don’t know what dry-brushing is, dip the tip of your chip brush into white paint, blot off any excess paint on a paper towel until it feels dry, and brush all over the lamp.

dry brushing with white paint

That adds a textured, weathered effect.

lamp with dry brushing

3. After I was happy with the amount of dry-brushing, I dip the tip of my wax brush into the dark wax and started working it into all of the grooves of the lamp in a circular motion. A little goes a long way so spread out the wax as much as possible. Too thick of a coat will cause it to feel sticky and not fully cure later.

dark wax finish on gray painted lamp

4. Add a modern lamp shade and done!

And since I used just materials I already had the whole thing was only $5 from buying it at the thrift store. See? Being a craft supply hoarder pays off after all. Shut it, craft haters. 😉

A thrifted $5 table lamp gets a DIY terra cotta paint makeover and new designer dupe look.

It’s so different from my usual style, but I’m really loving the earthy elements in decor lately. And the fact that I didn’t have to spend diddly to get it.

I’m thinking this lamp might end up in the McNays living room makeover later, which I’ll be sharing more about VERY soon! Ah!

If you want to see other previous thrift store makeovers, you can check them out here to get more ideas.

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21 Comments

  1. Wow, that dark wax really takes it to the beautiful level! What a great find, I haven’t been in a thrift store in ages and I can’t wait for things to be normal again.

  2. Lauren, how did you know that a grey (well, white and black) and the white dry brushing and then the wax will make it look brassy? Like, HOW? Inquisitive minds NEED to know. :p Great job, girl, as always your mind is a wonderful thing!

  3. Speaking of lampshades….They can be very expensive! I have the worst time finding the correct size (and not spend $$$) when I need to buy one. Are there any guidelines on choosing the right lampshade that you could share? The lamp turned out great!

  4. What a nice transformation. I liked the addition of the wax. It really makes the lamp based stand out! Perfect! Thanks for sharing

  5. I would not have looked twice at that lamp since it reminded me of the “Desert Decorating Style” of the 1980-90’s that included whitewashed cabinet finishes and pale pastel colors in furnishings and wallpaper. I love the new finish with the sheen the wax coat provides the new “natural” color of the lamp. I look forward to seeing if you decide to use the lamp in the room makeover you spoke about. Great job showing us how to reuse this style of lamp.

  6. I love the 3 white lamps that I have that are just like this one – they work well with the blue, white, and wood decorations that I have. One lamp was given to me and the other pair I also found at a thrift store.
    The bronze look is good and the lamp was an inexpensive wonderful buy. Win, win.

    I do have a similiar lamp with a terra cotta base that I would like to change before I use it.
    This may be just the right idea.

  7. I had that lamp the first time around. I can’t find it so I guess I got rid of it. Now I want it back so I can update the look! Good job!

  8. Beautiful! Any tips on painting a brass lamp to update the look? Mine has a black shade that I like, and would want to retain.

  9. Oh Wow! I’m kind of hard to impress (picky, picky, I know!) but your lamp hit my “save” list. It’s LOVELY!! Thank you for all your inspiration!

  10. I think you should totally pick up a more modern lamp shade in the straight vertical style like the PB one to make it look even better! Love seeing your creativity though.

  11. I’m pretty sure I had that exact style lamp in our first apartment back in 1989!!! Same cream color etc 😳.
    Wowsa!! I love the new version of it…who knew it could look like that 👍

  12. The lamp looks great and definitely expensive! I love nothing better than grabbing up a thrift store bargain and high ending it with a bit of paint,fabric or trim

  13. I just saw 3 lamps exactly like that at thrift store! I wanted 2 of them but they are so large for my extremely tiny apartment . I love how you transformed yours.

  14. As usual, I’m blown away with your resourcefulness and talent in bringing the old and outdated into the modern world! Gosh, Lauren, how did you even come up with how you layered these finishes? I love the end result! Maybe you should do a bloopers post so your less talented audience can see there’s hope for us yet, lol. 🤣

  15. The first sentence of your blog made me laugh and it describes me perfectly! My new favorite store is our church sponsored thrift store. I would hit it up occasionally before the pandemic but once it reopened after pandemic shutdown, oh my! I found treasures I would never have found before! So many purged while being home and it has been amazing!

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