How to turn a salvaged lamp into an antique candlestick!
The next time you’re at a thrift store, flea market, or yard sale and see one of those candlestick style lamps, don’t pass it up! I always grab them when I see them because they are fabulous to transform into an “antique altar stick”!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the lamp that I found before I gutted it of all of it’s electrical, but here’s a sample picture of what I’m talking about when I say “candlestick” lamp.
The lamp that I found at the thrift store was only $5.00, and once I removed all of the electrical, it looked like this.
Made of plaster, it had a dark brown stained finish. Even in this state, it still worked perfectly for mimicking those highly sought after antique altar sticks. But still….I wanted to give it a painted, timeworn finish, something that worked better with my style and decor. So, I started by gutting all of the electrical and hardware out of it. Gutting the lamp is easy, just clip the cord, unscrew and remove the hardware, then pull the cord out.
I started by painting a base coat in a beautiful blue, Country Blue from (affiliate link) Pure & Original Classico paint, which happens to be my favorite chalk based paint.
I painted this base color very loosely, not worrying about whether I got it completely down in all of the nooks and crannies. As you can see in the photos, some of the original brown finish is still showing through.
Then I started (1) loosely painting a dark gray, Pebble Stone. As I painted the gray on, I would (2) randomly spray a bit of water on it so that it would run and drip. As it dripped down over the blue, I would (3) take a soft cloth and dab it here and there, leaving it heavier in some areas, and thinner in others, letting the blue peek through.
I let this dry, and then, using P & O Sea Salt, I (4) dry brushed it over the raised areas giving it some highlights.
Now comes the fun part! I have always loved those century old, hand scraped finishes, that can tell so many stories, and I wanted to re-create this. Using a small putty knife, I started scraping away some of the layers, revealing the colors underneath.
It was so much fun scraping away some of the layers, and seeing that beautiful timeworn finish emerge.
Now instead of having a dull, solid brown look, this lamp has been revamped into an antique altar candlestick. It looks as though it was made a century ago!
Authentic antique altar sticks are so hard to find and their prices can be exorbitant. Reimagining a salvaged thrift store lamp can give you the look without the price tag!
I’ve always loved seeing homes with groupings of these candlesticks on display. If you keep an eye out for these old thrift store lamps, it won’t be long before you can create the same look.
I have several of these salvaged lamp bases that I have reimagined over the years, and they are wonderful to display in any room.
All of these are made from salvaged lamps that have the candlestick look and painted in the colors that work in our decor. I have two displayed on our fireplace in the family room, and a trio displayed in our master bedroom.
I will display them holding candles, moss balls, and even bird nests and pumpkins during the Spring and Fall.
So the next time you see one of these “candlestick” lamps at a thrift store price, just think what it could turn into with a little bit of paint!