Today, I'm sharing the first completed project of Operation New Nest: a revamped lamp!
The lamp in question was gifted to us by Mr. J's grandfather (ya heard: it was FREE!).
It's a sturdy little beast--it weighs more than any lamp I've ever encountered before. If I remember correctly, Mr. J's grandfather had this lamp for many years. I love that it came with history and memories attached. That's the true joy of thrifting and gifting (other than saving money).
However, the fellow had some issues. The lampshade it came with was a bit dingy and had holes and a huge tear in it. The photos don't do justice to the discoloration of the metal, either. I think it was at one point gold but had faded and blackened over time.
Step one was to update the hardware. I won't pretend to know all the technical terms, and I needed Mr. J to do that actual wiring since I was terrified of electrocuting myself. I conveniently forgot to take a before pic of the original hardware, but the next two photos show the huge metal piece that covered the socket interior. I'm not an electrician, so I'm not even going to try telling you how J removed the old socket cover and attached a new harp, but he did.
We bought a 2 piece 8 inch detachable harp from Lowe's for $2.86 after our 10% coupon. All I know is he needed pliers and an extra set of hands to do the job. We also removed what I call the fishbowl: it was a huge glass thing that covered the lightbulb, and didn't fit inside the new harp so it went into recycling.
Step two was spray painting the lamp base. I used Rust-Oleum Stops Rusts Sr Metallic in Antique Brass. It costs $5.38 at Home Depot, but it is worth the price! It's a beautiful finish, and you can customize your color by applying more layers. I might have used 1/2 of the can for this project.
I used Frog Tape to cover the socket interior (obviously, you want your lamp unplugged, no lampshade, no lightbulb, in a ventilated space) as well as the wire. Wipe the lamp down beforehand, and spread a tarp out as your working area.
It took 3 layers to get the color I wanted, and the product dried quickly and evenly.
Step three is a new lampshade. We got ours also at Lowe's for $17.97 after the coupon. Why is it so hard to find a lampshade you like? We looked at 3 other stores to compare prices, and no lampshades there were speaking to me. It felt like the heavens opened and angels sang when I finally saw this beauty. If the thrift shops or Craiglist listings are more fruitful in your area, you could greatly reduce the price of this lamp revamp. However, I was willing to shell out a bit more for a lampshade I really loved.
Eep! I love it. The photos don't do it justice. I'll shut up now and let you peruse.
1/2 bottle Rust-Oleum Metallic Antique Brass: $2.69
8 inch detachable harp: $2.86
10 inch lampshade: $17.97
TOTAL COST: $23.52
I can safely say we couldn't get such a sturdy, customized lamp for that amount.
Get your lamp revamp on!