How to Paint Thrift Store Lampshade & Side Table

How to transform thrift store lampshade with beautiful Chevron pattern & distress a side table with paint. Easy vintage farmhouse furniture makeover!

Sometime we find furniture in thrift stores – they are not bad, they are practical, and they look really really boring.

old lampshade and side table thrift store furniture makeover

Such is the case with this little thrift store side table and lamp. So what should we do? Take some risks and give them a makeover!

How to transform old lampshade with beautiful Chevron pattern & distress a side table with paint. Easy vintage farmhouse furniture makeover!

This project is a 2-in-1! See how to give an old table a chippy paint look, and how to paint a Chevron lampshade!

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

blue side table nightstand and yellow lampshade

Step 1: transform the table

If you love the weathered look, we have a detailed tutorial here exploring different techniques on how to create distressed finish on wood and furniture!

 how to whitewash wood to create beautiful farmhouse look

Starting with the table, first give it a good sanding with 80 grit sand paper to rough up the surface, but let some of the paint color remain.

old lampshade and side table before

I like this shade of brown and thought it would look nice having some showing through later.

sand table before painting

Then paint the table legs (I decided to leave the table top this brown color) with a base coat of white acrylic gesso.

prime furniture before painting

Let some of the wood and brown paints show through. Acrylic gesso is a good primer, because it’s a lot like chalk paint, matte, and stays on wood surface really well.

paint primer test comparing shellac based primer vs water based latex primer vs oil based painting primers, shown here Zinsser 123, Cover Stain & BIN primer

Other paint primers can work here to, we have a detailed comparison of water-based, oil-based and shellac- based primers here.

distressed blue side table nightstand, thrift store furniture makeover

After the first coat dries, add a coat of aqua blue. Let dry, then sand with 180 grit sand paper to expose some of the white and brown paint as well as the wood underneath for a charming distressed look.


Remember the furniture wax recipe I shared in the Pallet Wood Crates post? After cleaning the surface, apply this delicious wax over the entire piece. I just love this furniture wax, it’s also a great hand lotion and smells like honey, so don’t wear gloves for this step!

Now let’s move on to part 2 – the lamp shade!

old thrift store lampshade transformation

I love chevron patterns, and the color yellow with blue, so yellow chevron became the obvious choice!

How to paint old lampshade

First paint the shade with a base coat of warm white by mixing white with a tiny bit of yellow.

paint Chevron pattern on old lampshade

After this coat completely dries, use masking tape, and mark some evenly spaced points on the bottom circular edge of the lamp shade. This is a very important step to ensure the geometry of our pattern.

tape old lampshade for painting

Create the first row of the pattern, then go up one row at a time until the shade is completed. Then paint the pattern onto the shade.

painting yellow chevron pattern lampshade

When the paint dries, carefully peel off the tape. Now we have a totally different looking lamp!

distressed blue side table nightstand and yellow chevron pattern lampshade

We love our “new” table and lamp. A splash of color and some patterns make such a difference, right?

farmhouse boho colorful painted blue side table nightstand and yellow lampshade, thrift store furniture makeover

Happy creating and see you soon!


  1. Hi, Anandal love this project! Do you ever start on one for your blog and then say “what have I gotten myself into now?”

  2. I’m not sharing my opinion to be mean, but just trying to give some insight. I don’t cre for such a modern lamp on that old table. I do not like the paint at all, nor the old distressed look. I think the table looked better in it’s original shade of brown, or perhaps use white chalk paint on the legs and apron and distress that. I’d put the lamp elsewhere.

    • hi Babara! thank you and i always appreciate honest feedback! πŸ™‚ we all have different taste and even our own taste changes all the time! happy to have you visiting our blog as always! πŸ™‚

      • Ananda,
        What a nice reply to an obviously mean spirited hag! To pick apart someone else’s “art” is just about the rudest and most insensitive behavior I’ve ever seen! If you don’t like it, move on! Don’t look! Avert your eyes and cover your mouth! If you can’t appreciate the creativity and spirit in something, that is your issue not the creator’s! Go rain on someone else’s parade or how about, If you can’t say something nice, shut the heck up! You keep making magic Ananda and ignore the haters! Some of us are quietly (till now) listening. πŸ˜‰πŸ’–βœŒ

        • hi Alex! thank you for sharing our creative journey with us! πŸ™‚ actually there might be a little miss-understanding: Barbara has been a supportive reader for a long time, and we know both of you want the best for our blog, and we appreciate it SO much!! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi
    I cant find your recipe for homemade wax?
    Please show me how to find it. I pinned this and then it sends me to your blog and them it’s really hard to navigate.

  4. Hi,
    Very inspiring stuff! Love the table and the lamp looks great too. When you say Aqua Blue was the paint, what sort of paint was it?

    • thanks james! i mixed acrylic paints- sky blue, turquoise, and a little white together to get a blue i liked. you can also get some paint chips from the store as a guide to choose and mix colors.

  5. Ok, hate to bother you with this question, but, can you give me an idea as to how you got your spacing so perfect on the chevron? I mean, I know you love geometrics, but OMG!!!

    • hi candace! if you start at the bottom rim, and divided it into 8 (or 12 if you want a denser pattern) equal parts with the tape, that will be the guiding points, which will help a lot! =)

  6. Hi Ananada. I’m back for more:) I like the table so much that I want to go hunting for an old one just so that I can replicate what you’ve done. Fab!

    • thank you mary ann! i thought there’s nothing to lose – the worst would just be to paint it over again! =)

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