Before and After: How to Refresh a Lamp Post

With blue skies breaking through the clouds and crocuses suddenly flourishing, it is time for one of my most-anticipated and most-dreaded times of year…

Spring cleaning!

The perfect excuse to shove everything aside and really scrub those baseboards. And a perfectly uncomfortable amount of internal pressure to shove everything aside and scrub those baseboards. (So long, winter’s overdose of Netflix-and-chill!)

While Mr. Mark over here kicked things off with soffit vents and insulation, I’m starting with prettying up our curb appeal.

Today’s Project: The Lamp Post!

Let me just say that our lamp post wasn’t leading anyone out of Narnia. The glass was dingy, the paint extremely worn, the numbers all but unreadable, and the bulb inside have a glaring white light more reminiscent of a security guards Maglite than warm homeyness.

Time to Spruce Things Up


  • Windex
  • Goo Gone
  • Wire brush
  • Rust-Oleum spray paint in classic black with hammered texture ( the texture is key!]
  • Valspar white lacquer for wood and metal
  • Rags, paper towels, screwdriver, toothpick and other sundries.

Step 1: Pull everything apart as much as possible. Unscrew the top of the lantern. Pull out the light bulb and the hurricane glass and all the dead ladybugs and weird maple tree keys.

Step 2: Scrub everything down. This is where the Goo Gone comes in handy. Somehow, between tree sap and glue, we had streaks of sticky stuff everywhere. Goo Gone is invaluable for removing all of it super easily. If you’ve never used it, I highly, highly recommended. You can grab it on Amazon here and you will be absolutely delighted with your new free pass to never scrub stubborn goo again.

Step 3: Block off your glass. If you can remove it, by all means, do. Ours was not coming out so I used masking tape and paper to seal off each panel. It looked messy and awkward and so I leave it to your imagination instead of providing a photo. Just block anything you don’t want sprayed black. This includes covering the open top of the lantern so you don’t spray any fixtures inside.

Step 4: The fun part! Scrub scrub scrub scrub with your wire brush. Get any old rust flakes and lumps right off. Then wipe everything down with some Windex and a rag. All of that loose dust would make awkward lumps in your paint that you just don’t need.

Step 5: The REALLY fun part. Shake up your can of Rust-Oleum black and go to town. Remember to start at the top and work your way down so you can cover any drips, to keep the can moving so you aren’t creating a thick puddle anywhere, and to pretend to let your small child have a turn because their hands won’t be strong enough to press down the lever anyway and then you can still look like a good parent who gave them a shot while maintaining the sanctity of your paint job.

Step 6 is just for us. Our number plaque was tipping and if we were refreshing the post, we were going to do it right, so after thinking about various legitimately construction-type things that we could use to support the drooping side, we ended up just wedging a broken toothpick in and spritzing it with a bit of black paint.

Step 7: The final one, finally! The Valspar white lacquer went on to the numbers with a tiny paintbrush. Then a thin layer of clear craft sealer went over that. Now you can actually find our house from the street!

I also switched out the lightbulb. We went from harsh white LED to a warm, trendy Edison bulb. We have to see how much light it actually casts, but I love it.

And, done!

Next up: Shutters. Take a look at those photos again and you’ll see that those aren’t actually shutters on our house – they are dirt spots from where our shutters used to hang! But that is another story and hopefully I’ll have it up soon.

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