Learn how to transform a thrifted lamp into a stunning designer-style knock-off! This faux marble table lamp makeover is easy to do and gives you the designer style for a fraction of the cost!
Table lamps are one of my favorite thrift store makeovers because new ones are pretty expensive and the old ones can usually be transformed into something fabulous for not much money.
I’ve teamed up with my blogging buddies for another month of our #diyprojectchallenge, and this month’s theme is “knock-off” projects. I chose to make a fancy marble table lamp knock-off!
Be sure to check out all of their awesome projects at the bottom of this post!
I’ve always wanted a marble lamp like the ones they sell at West Elm and I love that theirs had the gold accents…
But it’s almost $250, and I my budget just doesn’t allow for that.
SO, when I was at the local Habitat for Humanity recently and spotted an old brass lamp for just $10, I knew I could make my very own knock-off version with faux marble contact paper for less than $20!
Here’s how it looked before I gave it its fancy lamp makeover:
I hope my little tutorial for giving an old table lamp a fancy makeover inspires you to give a thrifted lamp makeover a shot!
DIY Faux Marble Table Lamp Makeover
For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.
- Thrifted Lamp
- Marble Contact Paper
- Paper Towel
How to Give a Lamp a Makeover with Contact Paper:
The first step in this process is obviously going shopping for a used lamp.
Check all your local thrift stores, as well as the local Facebook garage sales and Marketplace. Old brass lamps aren’t really in style anymore, so it should be easy to find one for your brass lamp makeover.
STEP 1: Clean the Lamp
Once you have your thrifted lamp, give it a nice wipe down with a wet paper towel.
Make sure it’s completely dust-free and dry before you start applying the contact paper.
STEP 2: Cut your Contact Paper
Because my lamp had the nice defined edges between the base, the middle and the top, I simply applied my contact paper in the middle section.
Next, measure, mark and cut your marble contact paper to the length you need.
STEP 3: Apply your Contact Paper
Then fold down one side of the backing by just a few inches. This will allow you to start the application process and remove more backing as you go.
Now, stick that exposed side of your marble contact paper on the side of your lamp and use a credit card or smoothing tool to keep it smooth on the lamp, working out all the air bubbles, as you work your way around.
I obviously used two hands for this entire process but wanted my other hand out of the way so you could see how I was smoothing with the card… 😉
Work your way all the way around the lamp with the contact paper, using multiple pieces with small seams if necessary, until the whole base is covered!
And that’s it! Add a bulb and a shade (mine included a shade in the $10!) and you’re ready to use your new lamp!
Tips for using Contact Paper
While marble contact paper is a simple concept, getting the paper perfectly flat without any air bubbles or mismatched edges is tough!
I thought it would be helpful if I walked you through how I cleaned up these issues on my lamp makeover.
Removing Air Bubbles
Air bubbles are really hard to avoid when applying contact paper – so let’s talk about how to get rid of them!
Here’s an example of one that was on my lamp after I finished:
To get rid of air bubbles that are right in the middle of your flat surface, use scissors or an exacto-knife to cut a tiny hole in the paper right over the top of the bubble.
Then use your finger to rub the air out of that tiny hole.
You should end up with something much less noticeable!
Especially with this marble contact paper, if the bubble is over one of the grey sections you can put the hole over the grey and it won’t even show!
Lining up Edges
One of my favorite things about contact paper is your ability to clean up the edges.
I had one edge that was a little too long and wrapped onto my base:
To clean up the edge, simply use an exacto-knife to cut the extra away along the seam and throw it away!
Of course, like any low-cost, DIY knock-off, this lamp has some imperfections. But I do think it looks rather lovely, don’t you?
And for less than 10% of the cost of the one from the designer store – yes, please! 😉
As promised, here are your printable instructions:
- Thrifted Lamp
- Marble Contact Paper
- Paper Towel
- Clean your lamp really well with a wet paper towel and make sure it's completely dust free.
- Measure the size of the space you're covering with contact paper and cut your contact paper to fit.
- Pull back 1" of the backing on your contact paper and apply it to your lamp then gradually pull more backing off as you smooth the paper onto the lamp using a credit card or smoothing tool.
- Be sure to rub out bubbles and creases as you go.
- Trim off any excess paper with a razor blade.
Don’t forget to check out these other fun DIY knock-offs from my friends too:
As always, let me know if you have any questions when you go to make your own faux marble table lamp!