virtually any yard sale or second hand store treasure can be modernized, as long as it has good bones to start with (and is in working order). i found this really funky italian ceramic lamp at a local yard sale for $5, and thought it would be worth a try to paint it, since i found it so unique. all of the turquoise balls are glazed ceramic, as well as the urn. but the gaudy gold was a turn off. this is where the paint comes in.
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start by removing any parts of the item you deem not modern, or not workable. i removed the feet. everything else has a nice clean shape.
so from there, i masked off everything i did not want to be painted.
i used gloss white spray paint and painted according to the directions. i sprayed on three coats to give it a nice opaque white.
once the paint is dry, remove all of the masking material to reveal your modernized lamp. give it a fresh shade... (which i will probably change this shade out for a drum shape covered in blue and white striped ticking)... and voila, you have a unique lamp, that fits with your decor, for around $10.i did these two lamps a couple of years ago and have used them ever since. they sit on our dressers in the bedroom, and i like them with our beachy decor. both started as funky (slightly different) brass lamps. i loved the classic balustrade shape, and couldn't pass them up. i think they were about $8 each. i painted these two with matte white spray paint, fitted them with a ikea lampshade covered with natural linen, and appreciate their simplicity.