Trash to Treasure DIY: Painting and Rewiring Lamps

DIY lampSome of the highest quality lamp “treasures” I find are at my local Goodwill stores (no offense Salvation Army, but your stores are “far” from me and your prices are much higher for the same sad-condition lamps). You know the kind of lamps I mean?  They are heavy, often made of brass and beautifully shaped, but they are dirty, brass shiny or brass dull (no one loves brass these days), with frayed cords (or no cords), and either missing their shades or sporting ones that are stained, torn and gross. If the lamps are $9 or less, they get to come home with me. And, yes, my husband Mike is a patient man…to a point. I gift many of the lamps. so it’s not like he’s surrounded by lamps or anything.

Do you want to learn how to resurrect sad lamps?

First, carefully take the lamp apart, piece by piece. In order. Then photograph the pieces on your work surface. Why? You should refer to this photo when you begin to reassemble the lamp. It doesn’t do to have “leftover pieces!”

lamp update 1 Adventures of a Middle Age Mom

Second, rough up the surface of the lamp’s paintable parts using fine grade steel wool then a sanding sponge to remove any lacquered finish and make a surface that will gracefully accept spray paint (my preferred way to paint lamps). Use that same fine steel wool to remove rust and gunk from the moveable parts (screws, plates, etc.) that you’ll reuse.

lamp update 2 Adventures of a Middle Age Mom

Third, spray paint the lamp pieces. Outside. While wearing a protective mask. You don’t want to blow your nose later and see the color of your paint on the tissue! Your lungs will thank you!

lamp update 3 Adventures of a Middle Age Mom blog

Fourth, rewire the lamp, following the easy-to-follow instructions on the lamp rewiring kit. Don’t you just love that little underwriter’s knot?

lamp update 4 Adventures of a Middle Age Mom blog

Fifth, reassemble the lamp, referring to your original photo. Tighten all the screws as you go. No wobbly lamps!

Are you into DIY? Have you rewired a lamp before?

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2 Responses to Trash to Treasure DIY: Painting and Rewiring Lamps

  1. That’s neat! My husband rewires lamps to fit whatever currency we’re using (depending on the country we’re in). His parents also had hand-blown glass bottles and they made lamps out of those and he added the shades. So I’m not a stranger to the concept, but it’s only by association.

    • Jennie,
      I would love to see a photo of the hand-blown bottle lamps. I just found a green bottle lamp in a local thrift store that I’m currently rewiring!

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