So many times I’ve found only one really cool lamp without a matching partner but a few weeks ago I lucked out and found these heavy, vintage glass lamps:
They were nice and dirty and in need of some tlc…just like I like ‘em.
After taking apart and refurbing these lamps in the girls’ nursery, I knew a little of the how-to’s of wiring and taking apart/putting together lamps. It’s really not hard at all and so worth it if you find a sweet pair for cheap and in need of some paint or just new wiring.
Unscrew the nut from the rod, which allows you to pull apart the lamp piece by piece. Be extra careful if you’re working with a glass lamp with lots of pieces like me. You’ll want to make sure the lamp is on it’s side and slowly start sliding each part down the rod just enough to loosen the whole thing up and get enough extra wiring at the top to remove the wiring from the light bulb base.
You won’t be able to remove all the pieces individually until you remove the wiring at the top of the lamp, which looks like this after you simply pull off the little top cover (sorry, no technical terms from the non-electrician over here).
Depending on how old or new your lamp is, this top part might look a little different. Some you simply unscrew and some you might have to remove a screw to separate. Mine simply pulled off.
Next you’ll want to remove your wiring. There should be two wires to remove (at least in the lamps I’ve messed with there were two) and those wires will be wrapped around two screws. Unscrew the screws which then loosens the wire and pull off the wire.
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that when you’re taking all the pieces off that you either take lots of pictures showing how they go back on to use as a reference later or take them off and line them up as you’re going and snap a shot. Unless you’re a master lamp maker, it’ll be hard to remember where each little piece goes! I lined all the pieces up and took a couple of pictures:
Now we get to the fun part. Painting. :)
And then after I put the lamps back together I regretted the silver and wished I’d have kept them gold…fickle fickle me.
Whatever. Moving on.
I’ve had plans to inject some more color into our bedroom for some time now and thought the lamps would be a good place to start. So, the girls and I made a little trip to Michael’s to grab some acrylic paint and came home with this color:
A minty green called Spearmint. (Side note: Is it just me or do you go into a craft/home improvement store on a mission to get paint knowing exactly what color you want, only when you get to the paint aisle you stand there dumbfounded because you thought you knew what you wanted but then you see the other shades of the color you thought you wanted and all the other colors and the other shades of every other color and all of a sudden you just don’t know what you want so you stand there looking like you got hit by a truck until you finally just grab a color hoping you won’t regret your decision (or you just leave thinking you’ll sleep on it another four nights)???? Whew, take a breather Sheena. Well, that’s me every. single. time. Fabric decisions and paint decisions. My life be like rough.)
So anyway, I got my paint and a little craft paintbrush and painted the inside of each glass piece (after washing them out nice and good-like).
I gave each piece one coat and I know it looks a little streaky but the streakiness doesn’t show once the lamp is put together because no light illuminates through the glass, only from the top down…comprehendo?
After the paint was dry I referenced the picture I took of all the lamp pieces lined up in a row and put the lamps back together, starting with the bottom-most piece and working my way to the top. If you’re working with painted glass pieces like me, be extra careful about scratching the paint. It will scratch off if scratched (one reason I wouldn’t recommend using acrylic paint on glass if you’re painting parts that will be touched once you’re finished). On the plus side though, if you change your mind about the color 10 months down the road, all you have to do is scrub and repaint. :)
Here’s an “unofficial” after picture showing the fabric for the pillows…
and the Tums I rely so heavily on every night set on a cluttered night stand. Plans include painting those nightstands (white?), adding some legs to raise them to bed level, and adding mirrors. :) I can’t wait. Other plans include building an upholstered headboard, hanging some much needed art around the place, and convincing Anthony we need some matching faux sheepskin rugs on each side of the bed. Then there’s always other ideas like hanging some faux roman shades under the curtains, maybe building a bench for the foot of the bed, yadda yadda yadda. All of this with three kids in tow. Should be done circa 2020. Am I asking too much if I say “stay tuned”? :)
Back to the project at hand though, here’s a budget break down:
Lamps: $12 ($6 each)
Shades: free (stolen from the guest bedroom whose lamps now sport some clearanced shades I found months ago)
Paint: 37 cents (from Michael’s and purchased with a 50% off coupon…because $.37 saved is $.37 earned people)
Spray Paint: already had (but purchased at Walmart for around $4 a can)
Total Cost: $12.37
Funny, not-related story: As I was eyeing these lamps in the thrift store, an older gentleman eyeing some other second-hand item next to me looked over and with a serious face and twinkle in his eye said “You’d better pay for that basketball before you leave Miss.” (He was talking about the baby bump in case that one flew you by.) Usually I’m not one for comments on the belly (“Any day now, huh?”, “Looks like someone had too much to eat!”…), but that was cute, I had to admit. :)
Anywho, let me know if you have any questions or if I can explain anything better. I know the thought of taking apart a lamp can be intimidating but trust me, you can do it too!
Have a good Tuesday all you people!
. . .
P.S. If you already have your Christmas decor out and lit, you’re ages ahead of me…which I assume since Christmas is umpteen days away, you do. I was all excited to get ours out but the past few days have left me wondering if, on January 13th (the day Christmas officially ends, fyi) my future self will hate my past self for putting it all up so that I can take it all down while recovering from labor, nursing/caring for/changing/being attached to a newborn AND painfully chasing the twins. Is it worth it? Is singing Happy Birthday to Jesus enough for this year? I’m leaning toward yes…