before and afterlightingoutdoorproducts

before & after: karen’s bird bath + jen’s lamp

by Kate Pruitt

when the temperature rises, i begin to feel envious of the birds who are wise enough to live near bird baths. what i wouldn’t give to be able to dunk my head whenever i feel like it! bird baths are a win-win situation though, i guess, because the birds get refreshed and we get the enjoyment of watching an adorable birdie swim party. karen has created a simple, modern bird bath that would look great in any yard, and it’s actually only one of three bird bath designs she has posted on her blog, all within a very reasonable budget. i live so close to ikea i might have to run out and make this tonight! you can read more about the bird bath and see instructions here and here. thanks, karen! –kate

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for karen’s modern bird bath after the jump!

i’ve been too busy to go thrifting lately, but jen’s before & after lamps are making me regret it. she’s transformed some cheap old lamps into bright modern ones, with just a little paint. the bold, solid color really accentuates the shape of the lamp; whereas before it seemed rather drab, now i would not be surprised if it is the star of the room! you can see more of her process (not to mention some more fun makeover projects) here. nice work, jen!

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  • Hmmm … those birdbaths make me a) want my own garden so I could set one up, too and b) be a bird so I could dive into one ;-D

  • Very cute – I’ve been wanting to paint every thrift store lamp I’ve seen lately!

    I like to use aluminum foil on small things like this when I spray paint. It covers the top of the lamp without worrying you are taping every nook and cranny. Plus, it comes off just as quickly!

  • love the lamps–i am drawn to anything with a pop of color lately.
    where did you score the simple lampshade?

  • Will definitely be doing this birdbath! Since the last project I tried (Portable Sun Shade) failed so miserably, I might as well do something nice (read: beautiful) with those dowel rods. Thanks!

  • i have done the same thing to thrift store lamps. i found a similar shape to these and painted mine turquoise as well. i just used spray primer for metal followed by the spray paint. i also picked up a drum shade from the thrift store that i covered with black fabric. it’s very dramatic. love this post.

  • We definitely need to make that first bird bath. The birds love feeding from our little house, but the water part didn’t much occur to me living in dampish Seattle (very HOT today though). Will try to rectify the situation soon.

  • Thanks to everyone regarding my birdbath! Big news! I had my first bird bathing in it yesterday! I was a bit worried it would only be pretty … turns out it’s also functional. Who knew!

  • Hi everyone!

    I didn’t prep or prime the lamps before painting them (other than a quick wipe down with a damp cloth to knock the dust off). The spray paint I used adhered beautifully to the brass and the wood!

    Thanks to DesignSponge for featuring my vintage lamps revamped project and thank you for all the kind words!


  • I’m going to paint some lamps soon – how many cans of spary paint did you end up using?


  • Love the bird bath. I just love it when people think outside the box and come up with something unique. And it’s great to have you feature something that most of us could make.

  • How does one secure the dowels to the dish? Or should one just rely on gravity and hope no strong winds will turn the dish into an airborne missile?

  • It doesn’t take much to make a bird bath. Just a large saucer and some dowels which can be purchased at a lumber yard or woodworking shop. To attach the dowels, the local hardware store will have a solution. There are epoxies and other metal adhesives.