The Learner Observer

Hey friends! I’m here today with a quick post about a quick makeover. Though I will make no promises that this post won’t be wordy because well, it’s me. And I’m wordy. You get that. Here’s what you’re in for:

Black and Gold lamp  with faux marble tabletopOh my gosh seeing this picture bring so much stinking joy, you don’t even know! I feel like this is one of those things I should have done so long ago and yet it just stayed the same for two years. TWO YEARS!

Here is where I started:

Black and Gold lamp makeover using chalkboard paint - tabletop makeover using contact paperYou surely recognize these items if you have seen ANY picture of my living room, or if you happen to remember this really embarrassing post from eons ago!  Eeeep!!  I cannot believe I just shared that link with you!

In total, this took me a solid 15 minutes to complete. And that goes for both items! Not bad, right?

Let’s start with the lamp.

First, I bagged and taped the plug and cable and also the bulb socket. Then I spray painted the whole thing in chalkboard paint. Why chalkboard paint? Because I didn’t have any other black paint and I wanted a matte finish. Duh! Don’t YOU have chalkboard spray paint just sitting around? If you answered ‘no’ to that, you must not be a DIY blogger, in which case, I totally don’t blame you!

This spray painting did NOT go as smoothly as I expected. You see, I live very close to a lake, and this time of year these tiny, pesky little flies are everywhere. No, really… EVERY.WHERE. They swarm and bug and end up in my house, which I do not like! They also will stick to anything you try to spray paint, in case you were wondering…

Black and Gold lamp makeover using chalkboard paintI literally yelled out “OH, COME ON!!!” so loudly that I’m pretty sure my neighbour heard me. This wouldn’t be weird if he wasn’t also mowing his front lawn at the same time! I brushed as many of them off as possible and even sanded lightly when the paint started to dry, then I tried again. This is where patience would have been handy… if I had only waited for the flies to go away, which would be in a few weeks… but I had to have this RIGHT NOW!

Now let’s move on to the table, shall we?

I sanded the top because that huge black ring was a bit fuzzy. In my haste to put the table and lamp in the living room the first time I painted them, I did not allow the paint on the table to dry properly. Yes, this also means that huge black ring has been on this table for almost two years. TWO YEARS!!!

tabletop makeover using contact paperUsing some marble contact paper I happened to find at Canadian Tire that very morning (and yes, I intended on using the paper for this table all along), I got to work! I recently wrote a post for Decoist about tabletop transformations using Contact Paper, so the wheels were spinning fast!

tabletop makeover using contact paperIf you’ve ever used Contact Paper before, you know – avoid getting bubbles! this means pulling the backing slowly and even pressure on the paper as you go. Easy peasy, right? Well the next part proved to be very difficult for me: matching the pattern with the next piece. Check this out!

tabletop makeover using contact paperI slapped my forehead SO HARD just before I took pictures to show you my silly mistake. I matched it up before I cut, thought I had the right amount of paper, and then… I didn’t. Awesome, right? Well I didn’t waste Contact Paper and cut another piece. Another instance in which the patience to measure twice and cut once would have been great, but nooooo! Well, I just pasted it on without matching the pattern, and guess what? It was fine. In the words of my mentor, The Nester, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!”

tabletop makeover using contact paperThe corners also left a little to be desired when looked at so closely, but no one is ever going to see them from this angle. Except you guys… you just did.

I was instantly happy when I saw these two together, and I didn’t even know how much happier I’d be yet once they were inside!

table and lamp makeover using spray paint and contact paperI painted the finial gold because… ummm… gold is AWESOME! I happened to be working on a wedding project for a dear friend using gold paint, and the idea just slapped me in the face so hard I couldn’t ignore it. It was perfect!

As a little extra treat, I want to share what this sad table and lamp looked like when I first made them over.

Black and Gold lamp makeover using chalkboard paintCan you believe the picture on the left was actually an “after” shot once upon a time?!?!  Craze! I’m insanely, and I mean insanely head over heels with the way this looks. When I look at it from afar with the gallery wall it gets even better. Ready?

Black and Gold lamp makeover using chalkboard paintThat touch of gold on the finial is just so good! And the matte-ness of the lamp! The tabletop is really in the background here, but when you do get a glimpse of it, it’s pretty fantastic! Oh and that seam I didn’t match up? Can’t even tell!

Black and Gold lamp makeover using chalkboard paint

Alright, I’ll stop now. But don’t think for a second this is the last piece of furniture I cover in Contact Paper, because it’s not! Be forewarned! Marble contact paper DIY’s might be my new favourite thing.

Hope you’re all having a lovely week! I didn’t intend on being silent on the blog for so long, but if you’re an Instagram follower, you know I was battling food poisoning or some sort of stomach flu or something equally nasty! I’m feeling much better now, so thanks for the well-wishes! You are all little gems and I looooooove you.


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  1. Reply


    May 22, 2014

    Patience? What was that, again?
    Your little table and lamp are looking great. And it’s fun how we and our style evolve over time, right? When I now see older posts or photos, I also sometimes think “What was I thinking?!”. And it’s also fun how your chalkboard haven’t evolved over two years ;)

    Love, Midsommarflicka

    • Reply


      May 27, 2014

      HAHA I wouldn’t know! My style has definitely already evolved since moving into this little house, and yet you’re right – that chalkboard is still just the same, and I still love it!

  2. Reply

    Emily @ Two Purple Couches

    May 22, 2014

    Perfect. Love it! And this table + lamp combo were totally made for your fab gallery wall! But… I have a confession to make… I don’t own chalkboard paint (eeeep!). Does this make me a bad blogger??

    • Reply


      May 27, 2014

      Thanks friend!! I am obsessed with the black. Like, for reals. Never thought I’d love a black lamp this much!

      Also, you could never be a bad blogger. This just means you have self control in the spray paint aisles! haha

  3. Reply


    May 23, 2014

    How lovely this makeover is – I especially love how happy you are about it!

    • Reply


      May 27, 2014

      Thanks, gurrrrrrl! I am so dang happy it’s gross!

  4. Reply

    Alexis @ Persia Lou

    May 28, 2014

    I love this little marble table! (And I really love that it is contact paper!) And I’ve totally had bugs land on my spray painting projects. Those little punks. ;) If you had a second to stop by and link up at The Makers link party over on my blog, that would be great! :)

    • Reply


      May 28, 2014

      Thanks so much, Alexis! Honestly, the bugs are SO annoying!
      Definitely stopping by! Thanks for the invite!!! :)

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