My lamps were from a thrift store and had quite a bit of fine rust on them. I sanded them lightly before dusting and painting. After chalking mine up, I chose not to seal them. I wanted them to have a matte like finish as with cement. I might have to touch them up from time to time but I don't anticipate anyone touching them too often! I found pretty linen shades at Wal-Mart and just love how they turned out! Let me know if you give this a try!