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This is the tale of two thrift store lamps, plain, outdated, and cast aside.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.

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  1. AWESOME idea!!! Go for it!

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

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

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

  7. Do it!! That sounds like so much fun!

  8. Um, YES!

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

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

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

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

  14. Angela Bailey says:

    I’m SO in.

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

  16. 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. I’m down. Bring it.

  18. How fun!!! I’d love to!!

  19. I would love to do that!

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

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

  25. Let’s have a thrift-off!

  26. 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. that would be so fun! definitely.

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

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

  31. 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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