Lessons I learned from repurposing a couple dated brass lamps I bought off a Facebook garage sale for 20 bucks:
1) If you buy brass lamps to repaint and re-shade, pay no more than $5 per brass lamp. Goodwill is lousy with ’em.
2) Before you buy, find lamp shades you like that will actually fit the bargain lamps. Most new lampshades are what they call “uno” fit; older lampshades are typically the harp/spider top variety. (See below.)
3) Before you buy, make sure both lamps have their switch still intact.*
4) Before you prime, make sure both lamps have their swtiches still intact.
5) Before you paint, make sure both lamps have their switch still intact.
6) Before you do any of the above, buy two new lamps at Marshalls. Or Target. You can buy a pretty decent lamp for around $25 at either of those places.
$20 2 brass lamps
$4 1 can primer
$4 1 can paint
$15 per shade (nearly impossible to find)
$4 per finial
Not to mention the $10 in gas, approximately, I burned through: a) driving to a nearby suburb to pick up the darn things, and 2) motoring around town looking for spider top lamp shades.
Eh, at least I learned a thing or two. For instance: