A Tale of Two Pretties

A Tale of Two Pretties

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. Or something like that.

This is the tale of two thrift store lamps, plain, outdated, and cast aside. But not for long.

Friends Naomi and Sage from Plaster & Disaster bought the lamps and challenged each other to a lamp-off. Each would take one and make it over in her own style.

Two Lamps, Two Designs | betterafter.net
Two Lamps, Two Designs (Naomi) | betterafter.net

For Naomi, this meant high-gloss black contrasted with a glamorous gold-dipped look. I love how she filled the ridges in on the bottom with wood filler before applying the gold. It makes it look authentically ‘dipped’ and not just painted. Fabulous!


Two Lamps, Two Designs (Sage)| betterafter.net

Sage also opted to smooth out the ridges on her lamp by sanding the entire thing. It got a coat of turquoise paint, then she layered on thin coats of gold using a mix of paint and water, which she sprayed on with a squirt bottle. Very cool technique! It gives it a shimmery ceramic look.

What fun! I want to have a lamp-off. Who’s with me? You know what else I’ve always wanted to do? I’ll tell you. Find some completely hopeless items at the thrift-store and have a competition to see who can improve them the most.

I would choose a few participants and send them their ‘mystery’ item in the mail, then they would report back with their efforts and we would all vote and have a good laugh.  Oh man, the more I talk about it, the more I want to do it.  Would anyone be interested in that? Let me know. I think we should make it happen.



  1. Mumzy
    February 24, 2015 / 6:46 AM

    AWESOME idea!!! Go for it!

  2. February 24, 2015 / 7:06 AM

    1. great job on the lamps
    2. yes, please do it, I would totally be up to it (happy to pay for shipping too)

  3. NRC
    February 24, 2015 / 7:37 AM

    The lamps are great and your idea is a fantastic one. I would totally be up for it and pay for the cost of shipping (within reason… Large flat rate box from USPS, perhaps?). It sounds super fun.

  4. February 24, 2015 / 7:55 AM

    Thanks for sharing the project, Lindsey! And you know we’re always down for a lamp-off/thrift store challenge!

  5. Kimberly
    February 24, 2015 / 7:58 AM

    Yes! I think it would be an awesome challenge and I’d love to see the results. Great idea!

  6. Laurel
    February 24, 2015 / 8:16 AM

    I would totally participate in that challenge! Let’s do it!

  7. Jessica H
    February 24, 2015 / 8:41 AM

    Do it!! That sounds like so much fun!

  8. February 24, 2015 / 8:55 AM

    Um, YES!

  9. Heidi N.
    February 24, 2015 / 8:57 AM

    Still smarting from my runner up status in the Haiku contest, I need another shot at a win! Bring it on! 🙂

  10. KWolff
    February 24, 2015 / 9:27 AM

    I would most definitely be up for a flea market swap! I thin that sounds like a blast!!!

  11. Bets
    February 24, 2015 / 9:31 AM

    An ugly-off!! Yes! I’d be in (and pay shipping).

  12. Danielle
    February 24, 2015 / 10:02 AM

    I have got a pretty awesome goodwill in my neighborhood for finding utterly worthless items! (never thought I’d say that excitedly…Actually now that I think about it I’m still shooting mental daggers at people who find awesome MCM dressers or tufted leather high back chairs in perfect condition) I would be in. We could send each other an item!!!!

  13. Jane
    February 24, 2015 / 10:24 AM

    Love the black and gold effect and love the green and gold effect. Two winners!

  14. Angela Bailey
    February 24, 2015 / 10:32 AM

    I’m SO in.

  15. February 24, 2015 / 10:56 AM

    Love the turquoise lamp!
    Also, yes, love the idea of sending out stuff to pretty up! Oh the possibilities!

  16. Jane
    February 24, 2015 / 11:01 AM

    PICK ME! PICK ME! I promise to keep and use the item in my own house even, so I will take it very seriously!

  17. Dharma
    February 24, 2015 / 1:30 PM

    I’m down. Bring it.

  18. February 24, 2015 / 2:08 PM

    How fun!!! I’d love to!!

  19. February 24, 2015 / 3:02 PM

    I would love to do that!

  20. February 24, 2015 / 3:19 PM

    I am not a home decorator or super crafty person — artsy yes, I paint and draw and all that, but I would love to try something like this! Recovering a whole couch seems like a lot of work, but a lamp? A lamp is small. I could handle a lamp. I just need to find the place to put one in my small apartment. So, really, after all this rambling, this answer is YES! That would be fun! This blog is so inspiring.

  21. February 24, 2015 / 3:30 PM

    LOVE the idea of a ‘mystery item’ contest. Can’t wait to see the finals. (Wish I had more time, so I could join in!)

  22. LeeAnn
    February 24, 2015 / 4:35 PM

    My taste leans to the turquoise & gold one, though both are really pretty. They both did a great job!

    Heck, yes, I want to participate!! Where do I sign up?

  23. Cathie
    February 24, 2015 / 9:16 PM

    I want to see the mystery item happen. Just don’t pick me, unless you want a disasterpiece.

  24. February 24, 2015 / 9:27 PM

    I would love to see a contest like this and I would also love to participate!

  25. February 24, 2015 / 11:39 PM

    Let’s have a thrift-off!

  26. Amanda
    February 25, 2015 / 11:09 AM

    That sounds like a brilliant competition! I’ve been jonesing for a project. Need to get this baby self-sufficient so I have time to make stuff again. Should be able to in about 18 years, right?

  27. February 25, 2015 / 1:13 PM

    that would be so fun! definitely.

  28. February 25, 2015 / 2:18 PM

    I want to play!!! But I’m in the UK… perhaps I could buy my own ugly item? Or if you set a thrift store budget challenge I could do that one 🙂

    Looking forward to reading it, whatever you decide! xx

  29. Pia
    February 25, 2015 / 3:52 PM

    A competition like that would be just the motivation I need to finish some projects around here!

  30. February 25, 2015 / 3:53 PM

    That sounds like a blast! I would be up for it as well!

  31. February 25, 2015 / 7:45 PM

    Oh Lindsey, Count me in!!! That would be so much fun! I would love to participate in whatever challenge make-over contest you come up with. I would be glad to pay for the shipping as well. I could see this becoming an annual winter thing to hold us all over until the ugly lamp contest in the summer.

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