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If you'd like to experiment with faux paint finishes, consider starting out with something relatively small, like a lamp or hanging light fixture. Unlike applying faux finishes to larger surfaces -- say, a wall or a piece of furniture -- you're not committing yourself so much in terms of time or money. The picture above demonstrates how a faux finish can utterly transform a light fixture by giving it a seemingly aged patina. Switching out the glass lamp shades with paper lanterns also helped. These lanterns were hand-painted black on the outside and gold on the inside.

First step: find something to work on. You may already have the perfect lamp at home, meaning one that didn't cost much to begin with and is now a little out of date. I'm pictured one of those lamps made with that ubiquitous shiny "builders' brass."

Nothing suitable at home? Don't pay full price for a new lamp. Instead, pick up something cheap at a garage sale or check out the clearance rack of the big box stores. It doesn't have to look good when you buy it, because your job is to transform it into something fabulous!

As for applying that faux finish, this Associated Content article contains some great general preparation and painting tips. If you're re-finishing a lamp or light fixture, however, you'll probably opt to use spray paints. If so, here are your two best options:
1) Faux Tarnished Metal. Spray paint with gold and allow to dry. Next, apply a light greenish-blue over the top, then immediately wipe most of it off with a soft cloth. Leave paint as it collects in crevices. This creates a natural-looking tarnished look.
2) Faux Aged Brass. Spray paint your lamp black or another very dark shade like gunmetal gray. Allow to dry, then apply gold paint on top using a rough sponge. With this option, you want to avoid getting gold paint in the crevices, in order to achieve that gnarled, aged look you're aiming for.


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