New Using Blue (tape that is)!


September 30, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

Just sharing how I transformed a pair of lamps without much of anything.  I was getting bored with the dark wood lamp on my dark wood end tables, so I decided I needed some color.  Of course, my budget wasn’t allowing me to purchase new lamps, nor new lampshades (especially any of the ones that I really wanted).  So, I did what I usually do, I painted them!  Here are the lamps (well, the photo is only of one) before I made any changes:

The ‘lamp’ as it was before. Don’t mock the photo. As usual, I neglected to take a before shot. This photo was actually taken by my son when he was two. He likes to steal our camera and take his own photos. I find his perspective amusing. Maybe one day I will share a series of things that he has photographed.

Of course, I was impatient and frugal.  The idea of buying paint for two measly lamps didn’t thrill me and it was about 1:00 am when the mood struck me to paint them, so I had to be resourceful.  Oh, did I mention that I had a few friends visiting the next day?  Yeah, I’m crazy like that.  After rummaging through my paint stash, I decided to use sort of brick color with a little burnt orange flavor that I used for my front door, Valspar’s Molera Vasquero Red.

Valspar's Molera Vaquero Red

My front door, just to show the color a little better:

The front door also painted in Valspar’s Molera Vasquero Red. And as much as I wish I could say that my son took this photo, he didn’t, I did.

The notion of painting the entire base of the lamp in the door color didn’t appeal to me either, but I had a half-brained idea.  What if I had a stencil?  Or better yet, a reverse stencil?  You know, when one paints the area outside of the image, instead of painting the stencil image.  Only problem, I didn’t have any stencils either.  But wait, I had a computer, the internet, and a printer! So, I searched for a simplified, FREE, pattern and decided upon this one provided by Martha Stewart herself.  Of course, Martha intended the pattern to be used for a pillow, but the template could be used for whatever craftiness you are up to:

(Click the above photo to be linked to the Martha Stewart ‘leaf’ template.)

Okay, this is where I got creative (or maybe it was desperate and/or insane?). I cut out the leaf image.  Then I used my trusty 3M blue tape (hence the title of this post) and a made surface approximately 8″ x 11″ (same size as a sheet of paper) by overlapping the blue tape ever so slightly so that the back was still sticky, but still overlapping enough that it remained as one piece.  Then, I traced the leaf image with a sharpie (use whatever you can see on the blue tape) and proceeded to cut out the outline with an exacto knife.  Here is a photo of my ‘tape paper’ (essentially creating my own contact paper or sticker with 3M blue tape).:

Yeah, I took this awful photo too. It was after 1 a.m., remember? Sort of looks like the state of Maryland (my home state), if Virginia wasn’t ultimately given the territory between the two forks of the Potomac River. (Sorry, geography nerd coming out.)

What I was essentially left with was a giant (well four giant) leaf-shaped stickers made of 3m blue tape.  I artistically arranged them on the lamps until I was pleased with the design.

The lamp with the 3m blue tape stencil adhered to the base. I made sure to really seal the edges (as the lamp was not a smooth surface) to ensure a crisp paint line.

Another view of the lamp with the ‘stencil’.

Only thing left to do was paint.  I used a spare foam brush and carefully covered the lamp base, being sure not to lift up the edges of the tape with my brush strokes and then made sure to remove the 3m blue tape before the paint dried.  In a few minutes, I had two new lamps!

Voila! The reverse stencil was a success!

Another view….

And another….

The same lamp (base and shade), but with a new look, thanks to some leftover paint and a reverse stencil made from 3m blue tape!


3 thoughts on “New Using Blue (tape that is)!

  1. Suzz says:

    Very nice.

    When do you sleep??

  2. Jess says:

    What an awesome idea! I have so many old lamps and never even thought about painting them a different color, much less using a stencil!

  3. […] my thrift store birds to cuddle.  I placed our console/foyer table behind our sofa and stole my painted lamps from my master bedroom to create ‘the nest’.  I’m smitten with the cross-stiched […]

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