I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend! Did you see our surprise visitors on IG stories? They drove 10 hours to see us and hang out for the weekend! Laurie Anne actually had an Alaska trip planned this month, too… although not with us, and we were bummed about missing our vacations. Since we’ve both been social distancing, we decided to make the most of the holiday weekend at home together. She called me Thursday night and said, “We’re driving up to visit!” To which I replied, “NOW?!” Haha! It was very spontaneous and as you might imagine, we didn’t get much accomplished on our house projects. Our house guests are actually still here. Anyway- as promised, I’ve got the lamp DIY for you today! It turned out so great. I’ve been wanting to plaster something for awhile now. I haven’t used the material for years (since art school), and after seeing my friend Jenny’s plaster lamp project, it motivated me to pull out my plaster mix. Click through for the tutorial!
Eventually, I’ll probably move the lamp to the basement, but since we have visitors… I didn’t have time to shift furniture and style. This is what you’ll need to get started:
SUPPLIES + TOOLS
- plaster of paris, dry mix
- cheap paint brush (low quality bristles help add texture)
- puck light (comes with remote)
- Krylon Spray Primer
- Painters Tape
- lamp base, mine is vintage from this Etsy shop
- pleated lamp shade, mine is from this Etsy shop
- Sanding Sponge
Step 1 // Sand the base. You’ll want to begin by roughing up the base surface. I used a sanding sponge, pictured below.
Step 2 // Tape it off. Using painters tape, tape the areas you won’t be plastering. I ended up taping the cord, too… but this was before I decided to cut it out completely for a cordless lamp. This base is vintage and had a European plug. Eventually I may rewire it, but since it’s so small… the cordless look with a puck light seemed appealing. If you’d like a cordless lamp, instead of taping it off- use scissors and cut out the cord altogether.
Step 3 // Prime it. After sanding, I used Krylon ultra flat primer in a few thin layers to prime the base. This works on metal, wood, stone, and all types of surfaces.
Step 4 // Mix your plaster. Scoop 1/2 cup of dry plaster mix into a disposable container. Using your brush, add water and mix up the plaster.
You’ll want the plaster to look similar in consistency to pancake batter, like pictured below. Plaster has a working time of about 7 minutes, and it hardens quickly- so working fast is important.
Step 5 // Coat the lamp. Brush the plaster on in thin layers, covering the base completely. I like to brush from all different angles to create a more textural look. The beauty of plaster is the organic, imperfections. As you’re working quickly, don’t overthink it or try to be too precise or smooth. Allow the first coat to dry completely. If it’s cool to the touch… it isn’t dry. Repeat this step 2-3 more times until you’ve achieved your desired look.
Step 6 // Wet Sand. You can use a brush with water, a sponge with water, or even light grit sandpaper for this step… or you can leave it as is! If you’d like to smooth your lamp a bit, now is the time to perfect the texture. I used a clean brush dipped into water to smooth some of the more harsh looking lines.
Step 7 // “Install” your puck light. Puck light installation really isn’t “installation”, as you’re just adding batteries and resting the puck onto the empty socket. I don’t even secure mine, but you definitely could if you want.
Puck lights can be turned on by tapping the top, or you can use a remote. They’re really easy and provide a good amount of light!
My finished lamp turned out really beautiful! I love the organic texture paired with the geometric shade. It’s such a nice monochromatic contrast.
You can really use plaster on anything… it isn’t just limited to a lamp base. I have another object I’ll be plastering soon (a bust), and I’m already wondering what else I can cover in this beautiful material. A vase would be a quick, easy project!
What do you think? Are you into the plaster look? How about pleated shades? I’ve been seeing more and more of these resurface and I love the look! I hope you all have a wonderful week.