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How to Paint Ceramic Lamps

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Things You'll Need:

  • Painter's tape
  • Newspaper or plastic dropcloth
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Paintbrush
  • Primer
  • Protective gloves
  • Face mask
  • Spray paint
  • Glossy or protective coating (optional)


Place the ceramic lamp base on a turntable for easier access to all sides.


  • Read and follow all manufacturers' warnings and instructions. Work in a well-ventilated area.

Painting a ceramic lamp is an inexpensive way to rejuvenate the decor of a room. Whether you want to update an old ceramic lamp or change the style of a secondhand ceramic lamp you purchased at a thrift store, paint affords you the ability to create a design that will blend with your color scheme. Spray paint is the quickest method of painting and is available in a wide variety of colors to fit your needs.

Unplug the lamp and remove the lampshade from the base. Apply painter's tape to areas you do not want painted such as the lamp socket and the plug.

Place the ceramic base of the lamp on newspaper or a plastic dropcloth.

Sand the ceramic lamp base with fine-grain sandpaper so the paint will adhere to the lamp's surface.

Clean the ceramic lamp base with a cloth and vinegar to remove debris. Let it dry thoroughly.

Apply a primer on the ceramic lamp base to prevent the original color from showing and to improve adhesion of the new paint. Allow the primer to dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

Apply spray paint to ceramic lamp base in a smooth, side-to-side sweep. Wear a face mask and protective gloves while spraying. Allow the paint to dry. Add a second coat of paint, if necessary, and allow it to dry.

Apply a glossy or protective coating if you wish.

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