DIY · Uncategorized

Restoration Hardware Inspired Brass Lamps

The Restoration Hardware trend is so popular these days! If you search the web or check out Pinterest you can find hundreds of inspiration photos and tutorials that will help you achieve that weathered, dry brushed technique. I had a client who wanted a different look for her brass lamps and I suggested this kind of look for them. While the look is more on trend, it’s still an old world, yet modern finish perfect for a more updated interior.

These are the lamps in their original state.  There were two pairs of lamps. One pair was going in her bedroom and the other in her living room. I started by cleaning the lamps very well with vinegar, dish detergent and hot water. I used a scotch brite pad to remove any grime and residue.


I primed the lamps with Zinzer’s  Bin Shellac primer which works on pretty much all surfaces. I applied 2 coats letting them dry well in between each coat. I just used a chip brush to apply the primer.

Then I applied  Sherwin Williams Ovation brand of paint in Virtual Taupe. I used a matte finish. I also did two coats here drying well in between each coat. The color is very similar to Annie Sloan’s Coco Chalk Paint.


I painted all the lamps two coats of the paint and let dry overnight.

After I finished base coating the lamps with the Virtual Taupe color I mixed up my own DIY liming wax .  For the liming wax I used a glob of my Johnson’s Paste Wax and mixed in some white latex paint I had. I used enough paint so the color would be opaque enough but still have some translucency.  For the lamps that I wanted to stay lighter I used my chip brush again and just brushed on the DIY liming wax all over the lamp.  I let it sit for a couple of minutes and then I used my blue shop towel to wipe off the excess very gently.  I wanted to keep the texture of the wax in the grooves of the brush marks of the paint.  It gives a really interesting texture and almost looks like stone.


Here is another closeup of the white liming wax.

This is the dark wax.  For this, I used my Johnson’s Paste wax again but this time I added some Minwax stain in Provincial.  I used the same technique as before using my chip brush and applying the stain all over the lamp base.   I let it sit for a while before wiping off very gently.  You may have to apply a second time if you want your lamp to be darker.  Alternatively, you can also use a bit of the liming wax first, let it sit a bit, wipe off and then use the darker wax.  Play around and see what works for you!

Here is the darker lamp completed. The paint and wax technique totally transforms this lamp into a greige, weathered patina finish!

Another close up of the dark lamp.

Here is the finished white liming wax lamp.  It’s amazing what a bit of paint and some wax can do to outdated lamps!


I love how the wax clings to the grooves of the brush strokes.  It really adds to the weathered, patina look I was after.




  Needless to say, my client was thrilled with her lamps!  Try this technique out on your lamps and other accessories!  I’d love to see your transformations!


Shabby Roses Baby Plaque


Lately I’ve been painting signs in addition to painting furniture. This is a sign I made for a friend’s new grandchild. I used a combination of hand painting, image transfer and decoupage to create a shabby chic weathered look for this baby announcement.

For the image transfer I used Mod Podge. Below is an example of how i created the image transfer.



This isn’t the image I used for the baby sign, but I just wanted to show you an example of what I use.  This image came from The Graphics Fairy website. She has such wonderful images that are copyright free.  This is one of some French Typography. Notice how the image is in the reverse.  When you are doing an image transfer, you need the typing to be in reverse so when you apply it to your surface it comes out correct.  If it’s just an image you don’t need it to be in the reverse. You want to cut out your graphic as close to the image as you can, trying to leave as little white showing as possible.  This was printed on regular white printer paper from a laser printer.


After cutting out your image, you want to apply it to your surface.  In this case, I had used a tin box that I had painted with chalk paint. Use a foam or a chip brush to apply the Mod Podge to the front of the image, not the back.  Make sure you press down firmly and get out all the bubbles and wrinkles.  Let this dry overnight.



When it’s ready, you will take a damp/wet sponge and press it over the image.  Then, you will start rolling off the excess paper and leave the image behind.  You have to do this carefully and slowly at first, making sure you are not taking off the image. It takes a little practice, but when you get going its really addictive!  You’ll know all the paper is off when there is no more white haze over the image. I use either Mod Podge to seal this or a Polycrylic.



I used this wonderful chalk paint from Pure & Original for this project. I had painted the wood I used for the sign black first, and then I used the color Aged Paper over it.  I sanded it very well with my palm sander to get a weathered, dry brushed look.



I hand-lettered the name, date and statistics of the baby. I just used black acrylic paint and a long thin brush to paint the lettering. I use carbon paper and I trace the outline of the lettering and then fill in the outline.  For the black and white images I used the image transfer process above.




The color images of the roses, etc I also found on The Graphics Fairy website. I cut them out using a small scissor and applied them using Mod Podge as well.


After everything was dry, I used the Mod Podge as a sealer over the entire sign.



I attached some vintage pink ribbon to the hardware on the back and it was complete!


Let me know what you think!