How to Update Your Lighting Fixtures in a Snap

lamp upgrade diy

Erin Gerlach

Are you the owner of a light fixture that has seen better days? Rather than tossing the piece entirely, why not give it a bit of a makeover? We're sharing 10 easy ways to give your lighting a refresh to better reflect your style and transform your space as a whole. Keep reading for a variety of ideas involving lamp bases, shades, and even lightbulbs!

1. Spray Paint the Base

Maybe you have a perfectly well functioning lamp, but it just isn't doing much for you aesthetically any longer. Well, now is the time to lean into the power of spray paint. Head to the hardware store and pick up a canister of a shade that speaks to you. Best of all, this simple DIY project will only take a few minutes (plus drying time) and can be completed for under $10.

2. Use Contact Paper

Contact paper isn't just for the insides of your cabinets, it can be used to give new life to a so-so lamp base if you wish, too. For just $30, blogger Megan Duesterhaus refreshed two plain lamps with some patterned contact paper that better fit her style. While the project was ultra budget friendly, we think the results look pretty darn luxe!

contact paper lamp

Megan Duesterhaus

3. Swap Out the Shade

Maybe the shade on your favorite lamp has gotten a bit worse for the wear over the years. If you're still loving the base and don't wish to part with the lamp entirely, don't fret. Simply make note of the shade's measurements and hunt for a new one that's approximately the same size both height and diameter wise, and you should be all set! And while you're at it, why not have some fun and take this opportunity to try out a new color or pattern? This is an excellent time to play to some of the trends that you've been eyeing. Maybe you've been itching to go a bit bolder—go ahead and try a bright coral shade, perhaps. Or if you can't stop swooning over English interiors, pick up a shade with a paisley pattern.

4. DIY a New Shade

You can easily DIY a new shade to better suit your liking, too! Get creative and think outside the box when it comes to materials or textures. Blogger Andrea Champlin chose to spray paint plain wooden lamps with a hot pink hue and constructed new shades using cork material. This is an excellent idea if you're looking for something less common or just can't settle on a fabric print that appeals to you.

spray paint lamp and cork shade

Andrea Champlin

4. Change Your Bulbs

Lightbulbs have the power to alter a room's mood. If you don't like the hue that the bulb on your nightstand is emitting, change it! This simple fix is inexpensive and takes little time but can dramatically. While you're at it, why not change things up entirely and opt for a color changing bulb?

5. Add "Age" to Your Base

If you think a lamp needs to appear shiny and new to be in style, think again! Many home experts are loving the look of aged pottery lamps—but unfortunately, such pieces can be quite expensive. Luckily enough, there's an easy way to replicate this look if you're willing to take on a simple DIY. Plaster of Paris, a bit of paint, and yes, dirt, were some of the key ingredients that blogger Erin Gerlach used to take a $3 Goodwill lamp from iffy to incredible.

plaster lamp

Erin Gerlach

6. Or Incorporate a Pattern

Maybe your lamp base is a nice solid color that appears to be in good condition and doesn't need to be painted over entirely. But if you still think your lamp could use a little bit of a refresh, we love the idea of taking it from plain to patterned with just a little bit of paint. Using pops of pink and green, blogger Lori Rowe added leopard print-like spots to a lamp base of her own, all while replicating a designer find on a budget.

leopard lamp

Lori Rowe

7. Change the Finial

The finial is the ornament on top of a harp lamp that helps the shade stay secure. If you're finding that yours is too utilitarian looking for your liking, go ahead and shop for a piece with more flair. We've seen all types on the market—you can even purchase some with whimsical figurines attached, like birds and bunnies, which would be adorable in a child's room.

8. Add a Medallion

When working with ceiling light fixtures, jazz them up a little bit by adding a plaster medallion. This will add a vintage-inspired, old world look to your space without costing an arm and a leg. Plaster medallions can be purchased online for $30 or so (and you can paint them, too, if their plain white hue doesn't speak to you).

9. Say Goodbye to Rust

If you own a lamp that's looking a bit rusty, don't fear that its beauty is forever lost. Simply make like blogger Dara Dimitri and hit the hardware store to purchase supplies that will rid the piece of rust once and for all. After completing the necessary steps here, you could even spray paint the base in a new color if you're craving even more of a revamp!

floor lamp makeover

Dara Dimitri

10. Just Add Twine

No desire to paint? No problem! You can also alter the appearance of a lamp base using just a bit of twine. Simply take a cue from blogger Tarah and wrap it around a portion that you'd like to cover and then sit back and admire your coastal-looking creation.

lamp with twine