About two or three weekends ago, I came across a sight so horrific at a home décor consignment store and it shook me to my core…someone had the audacity to paint over a tobacco leaf lamp.
I was browsing the dinnerware section for some blue and white dinnerware pieces to add to my collection when I saw from afar a lamp with really big leaves.
I thought to myself, “Wow, those leaves look like the ones on tobacco leaf patterned items, but what’s with those red leaves and maroon silk shade?”
Like a lion hunting for prey, I slowly inched closer and closer to the lamp to inspect the situation at hand before I pounced.
And I let out an audible curse word and gasped as I realized what I was looking at.
Someone, likely a person who had been through immense personal trauma in their life, decided to paint over the gorgeous blue and gold accented leaves with the deepest, darkest red/maroon paint color they could find.
I’d like to know who hurt this person so deeply that they had to commit such a heinous crime to this gorgeous, gorgeous lamp.
WHO HURT YOU!?
(Note, I am kidding and being dramatic for effect here, so please no hate mail!)
For a split second I decided to walk away from it, but I figured there simply had to be a way to restore it to its natural beauty. Plus I had no less than thirty replies to my Instagram Stories telling me they knew I could fix it and to not go home without the lamp.
Since the lamp had been there since January, it was super discounted to about $24 (down from $45). These vintage tobacco leaf lamps sell for quite a bit, and honestly even with the paint, $45 would have also been a bargain.
I let the consignment store keep the silk maroon shade, and I walked out with my lamp and original pineapple finial.
Taking off the paint was the first order of business once I got home, and I wanted to make sure to not disturb the original paint finish at all, so I went with the gentlest approach.
I’ll detail the whole process below. I will say it took about two hours all together, but it was worth all the elbow grease and ruining a kitchen sponge.
In the future, I likely will use some gold leaf rub and buff (the same shade I used on my DIY chinoiserie wallpaper panels) on the gold part at the top just to help restore/liven up the finish.
But for now she is back to her beautiful self and resting on my DIY white campaign chest (which is another rescue of mine).
This is a happy ending for this lamp who suffered for likely many years under this regime of cheap maroon craft paint.
Wasn’t there a maroon home decor movement in the 1990’s? I think I’ve blocked it out from memory in order to preserve my childhood memories.
My next chinoiserie DIY is going to be a luxe for less version of these gorgeous orchid blue and white arrangements.
At over $250+ on most sites, I just knew I could make a more affordable option. Can’t wait to share that with you all next week.