Here's a great DIY project created by a friend of A Tale of Two Bloggers. This lamp, which originally had a wood and gold metal base, cost only 50 cents at a garage sale.
Learning how to turn it into a beautiful new piece took only a bit of internet research. She used spray paint to cover the unattractive parts. The first layer was a primer, then a black coat, a clear top coat and finally a bit of silver chrome spray paint for the metal.
The shade was 50% off at Target, which was the final touch needed for the project. The final product looks like something I would buy new for $40. It just shows you that you have to sometimes look a bit deeper to see an item's potential.