How To Paint Brass Lamps And RV Light Shades

Cheap RV Living Tips On Redecorating An RV

In the summer of 2011, we purchased a 30 foot, 1993 Fleetwood Bounder. Paying with what little cash we had, and staying true to our cheap rving lifestyle, we knew we would have a lot of cleaning and renovating to do. A month later, we had remodeled our entire rv and loved our new home.

We learned many affordable tricks along the way (and pulled this off spending next to nothing). One of the tips we learned was how to make those brass fixtures seem to disappear, without spending money on new ones. There were five of these motorhome interior lights to contend with...not to mention the nearly forty brass handles on all of the cabinets. If the shiny look, which wasn't us, wasn't bad enough...all of the lamp shades were dingy and bland, too. How could we make all of this go away without spending extra money? We figured out a way...

RV Remodeling Photo BEFORE Renovating

Note The Lamps On The Wall

Our RV Interior Light Fixtures(64019)

Motorhome Brass Light Fixtures After Renovating

The Same Wall After Painting The Lamps and Shades

Painting The RV Lamps Shades And Brass Lamps Was Easy!

A Great RV Tip When There Is No Budget For A Makeover

When painting the brass lamps, all I used was the following: water-based Kilz, flat wall paint (leftover from our wall redecorating) and cheap sponge brushes from the dollar store. It took a good soaking/sponging of the Kilz in every crack, and I ended up applying two coats of it, as well as the wall color. I allowed each of the 4 coats applied a lot of extra drying time.

As for the lamp shades, I used a very small and narrow roller brush found at the dollar store, and found a complimentary color of acrylic paint in Walmart's craft section, also for under $1.00. I would squirt it onto a paper plate and use that as my drip pan. The first step was to get an ordinary child's paintbrush and fill in the cloth seams really well (anywhere the paint won't sink into easily). Then I rolled very heavy coats onto the shades, in long streaks from top to bottom, certain to get the top and bottom rims as well.

I did this outdoors, in bright sun and heat, for various reasons. First, it dried very quickly and evenly. Second, holding it up in the sunlight, you could see the thin areas that would look quite bad when you turned your lamp on. Until I couldn't see through the lampshade, I knew I needed more coats.

I'm really happy with how these lamps look, for spending hardly anything to make them fit our style. We are frugal, full time rvers and live a lifestyle where every penny counts. Those who have seen our new, remodeled motorhome cannot believe how little we've spent, and that we did it ourselves. I've posted closeup photos below and hope you've enjoyed this rving tip!

RV Interior Light In Living Room

This Was Our Living Room Brass Lamp

Our RV Light Fixture In The Bedroom

Painted This Lamp To Match Our Bedroom Colors In The Motorhome