This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Reeves. All opinions are 100% mine.
Do you ever see something in the clearance bin and think “that would be great IF”? I do that all of the time! That would be a great comforter for me only if it wasn’t white and I didn’t have dogs that somehow magically get mud EVERYWHERE… That would be a fantastic rug for me only if it was a little bit larger. You know? That sort of thing?
Well I was doing my thing in one of my favorite stores when I saw an entire clearance area. Not a bin, not a section but a new area larger than my living room… woohoo, amIright?!? I found this lamp that I did the whole “that would be great only IF it weren’t so plain” thing the moment I locked eyes onto it.
Now dyeing an entire King size comforter isn’t very doable and I haven’t figured out how to make a rug larger but plain, like this lamp, well, that’s something I can totally fix!
So I grabbed my box of Reeves goodies and pulled out my set of acrylic paints and set out to fix up this lamp, first by painting up the lampshade to be a bit more colorful and modern. And in the end, I decided to fill it will faux succulents, too, which you may or may not have the opportunity to do with the lamp you decide to fix up, but I figured why not as it gives my finished project another “hitting all of the craft trends” box to tick off :) Now if only I can figure out something macrame to add, ha!
Are you excited that you can paint up that shade and turn pretty much any lamp from something old, boring or plain into something unique and totally one of a kind. Wait? Not much of an artist, you say? Well, me neither! Luckily this abstract painting style is so simple that even the worst of us can fake it with amazing results. Want to see how I did it? Let’s see what supplies we need and get to it!
For this project you will need:
- Reeves Acrylic Paint Set
- Fabric medium or water (optional)
- Reeves Paint Brushes in varying sizes
- Reeves Acrylic Paper Pad (for practice)
- Succulents, foam block, decorative stones (optional & possibly unnecessary)
First you’ll need to select a color palette PLUS black for a great visual pop. I chose primary colors red, yellow and blue and added orange to the mix.
On a piece of paper practice putting together brush strokes of varying sizes, shapes and color along with black dots and stripes for bold visual impact. Now that might be easier said than done, right?
Well, that’s why I went ahead and made 3 examples for you to use as practice and get into the groove of this type of painting. Just follow along with your choice of paints, trying to mimic what I’ve done.
Don’t worry if your brush strokes are “sketchy” or imperfect. It only adds to the charm of the design.
Feel free to also create lines and dots out of color to add to your design and not just with the bold black. One thing to note as you work is that your paint brush might “load up”. This is where as you work and dip your brush into the paint over and over, that paint begins to bulk up in the brush up near where it is connected to the handle. As this happens your brush will make thicker dots and strokes due to the extra bulk of the brush with more paint. See how at the top the black dots are smaller than at the bottom? That’s because I kept adding paint to the brush as I worked my way down. To prevent this, simply wipe your brush on a towel sporadically to remove excess paint.
Let’s try one more…
Another thing to note is that acrylics dry really quickly. If you want your colors to mix and blend you’ll need to work quickly to achieve that before the paint dries on you. If you want solid colors, however, give each brushstroke/color a minute or 2 to dry before layering another color on top. One of the great things about theses Reeves paints is that they are nice and opaque meaning you can paint one color on top of another and completely cover what’s behind easily, should that be the look you’re going for.
With 3 examples in the bag I bet you’re knocking out designs way better than mine, right? Let’s go ahead commit some of those onto our shade…
If, like mine, your lampshade is fabric it will be much easier to get the paint to brush on evenly if you thin it out, first. You can use fabric medium purchased at the craft store or you can use water. Since a lampshade doesn’t get washed in the washing machine, you can save some $$$ and go with water if you don’t already have the medium in your craft stash. Exactly how much you thin your paint is totally a personal preference. Feel free to add a little and test, adding a little more if necessary until you find a consistency that is the bees’ knees.
Should you choose not to thin out your acrylics, as I didn’t with my black paint, you will produce a bold, sketchy look. This is totally an option, too!
Working off of the designs you created and love on paper, begin transferring them onto your lampshade.
Work carefully, allowing things to dry before moving around to prevent unsightly smudges or mistakes.
You might find, as I did, it easier to first paint your base designs leaving the black dot and dashes until the end.
Work until you fill the area leaving as much white space as you’re happy with.
Once dry, you can put your lampshade back onto your lamp. If you have little or messy ones it might be a good idea to protect the design with a protective fabric spray like Scotch Guard.
Now remember those succulents I added? This may not pertain to you and your lamp at all, but I’ll show you how I went about that. To save some more money I grabbed a chunk of Styrofoam and cut it down to size to fit within the cup at the base of my lamp. Now I think that this was meant for pencils and scissors and other office-y things but I didn’t figure that out until after I already got the thing filled with faux succulents and, well, no take backsies.
As a heads up, if I had ANY CLUE how awful sawing into Styrofoam with a kitchen knife was, I simply would NOT have done it. Seriously. It was really, really awful and I half expected all of the neighborhood dogs to start howling at any moment. Apparently this is remedied by waxing the blade, but I didn’t know that until after some startled Googling.
Faux succulents are cut down to size off of floral picks and jammed all into the Styrofoam to fill out a nice shape.
Styrofoam can easily be hidden with some decorative pebbles or stones like these. Just move them around beneath the plants until there is no more foam visible.
Now doesn’t that looks so fabulously lovely and not plain at all?
Now Carly doesn’t seem overly impressed but what can I tell you, she didn’t get her nap today but I must say it looks FABULOUS next to her favorite chair :)
Even if, like me, you’re not an artist, you can still raid those clearance bins or thrift stores or garage sale finds and turn a drab into fab with a little bit of Reeves art supplies and some crazy brushstrokes!