How many things do you own that you look at and think, "I really don't like brass anymore" or "My favorite entry table is oak but I don't have oak anywhere else in my house. It just costs too much to replace it!"
My philosophy is that you can paint just about anything! If the item has good bones (nice shape, sturdy, fits the space) but isn't the right color, consider giving it a makeover. There is paint now that will cover just about any surface imaginable. Just make sure that you look on the can to make sure that it works on the surface that you're painting. I love to paint picture frames, lamps and even drawer knobs and other hardware, depending on my changing desires. About a year ago, I decided that I was tired of my light pine furniture and wanted for my living room to have a warmer feel. I painted all of the furniture black. I love it! You might have heard that you have to sand everything first and that's just too much work! Well, I agree. There are primers made especially for slick, non-sanded finishes. The primer gives the paint something to attach to so you don't have to sand it first. If you're painting something a dark color such as black, ask the paint store to tint your primer for you. That will help the color to cover better and means less coats for you to paint! Here's a picture of some of my furniture before I painted it.
By painting the furniture black I decided to bring in black to the window treatments and accessories. I've added creams to lighten it up but I'm very happy with the overall feeling of warmth. I chose to keep the trim on the armoire the wood tones to break it up a little bit. That same combination worked well on my bookcase. I also added some trim (from Home Depot) to "beef it up" a bit.
If you're going to paint a lamp, just take some blue painters tape and cover the area where the light bulb goes as well as the cord. I use spray paint on items like lamps, picture frames and mirrors. You can get flat, satin, semi-gloss or gloss in spray paint to achieve the look you want.
So, consider spending your money on other things and just give your items a new look. It's also great for the environment because you are re-using and re-purposing items that you already own.
You can visit my website at www.myrenewedspaces.com