I first shared this post on A Glimpse Inside blog. I hope you enjoy it.
I inherited this lamp from my grandparents. In fact, my parents gave my grandparents this lamp as a Christmas present the first year they were married in 1968 – and I was born just a week later on January 1st, 1969 (yes I just told you my age).
So, this is indeed a true mid-century lamp but NOT a mid-century modern lamp as in my favorite style. I am okay with that, I used to use this funny pot belly style lamp as a prop for my Barbie house. I have always thought this lamp was partially adorable and partially ugly.
I recently did a web search for the name of the lamp company. Crown Company and found images of what it would have looked like in 1968 and how much it was worth these days. I was surprised to see what people were willing to pay and how ugly some of the “updates” people done to them. I just knew I could make this lamp look so much better.
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Vintage Lamp Makeover
For this project you will need:
- Vintage lamp of your choosing
- Lamp Rewiring Kit
- New Lamp Shade
- Wood stain color in your choice
- Wood veneer edging
The first thing I did was to take the lamp apart and give it a thorough cleaning. I considered painting it a different color but just couldn’t see a pot-bellied stove in any color except black. This lamp is actually made out of cast aluminum and very authentic to real pot belly stoves.
Next, I purchased a new lamp making kit. No way was I going to deal with 50 year old wiring. The lamp kit also gave me to opportunity to change out some of the elements of the lamp that I don’t practically like.
I have never rewired a lamp before so was a little nervous about this part. The back of the kit had step by step instructions and it was actually very easy to follow. I won’t give you the instructions of how to rewire a lamp because I don’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction but I will suggest that you read up on Pinterest and follow any directions on the kit you buy. It really is very easy.
The next step was to make the lamp look different. I didn’t care for the fake flower thingy or the extra height added to the base of the lamp with the wood spools so I shortened the inner tube and only used one of the wood spools. I spray painted any brass colored parts in a silver finish to match the new style of the lamp.
Mid-century modern style has lots of wood tones and since this lamp is a mini pot bellied stove, I wanted to add some sort of wood tone to the shade. Anything is better than what the original shade looked like in 1968.
I purchased wood veneer edging at our local Lowe’s cabinet finishing area and stained them in an Early American stain color by MinWax. Since these wood veneer strips are backed with self-adhesive, I then very carefully attached them to my linen lamp shade using a hot iron.
I added strips to the top and bottom of the shade. Then I measured 2” above the bottom edge all around the shade and made pencil marks to follow to add the third strip. The wood strips add just the right amount of a modern touch to this vintage style lamp.
It is still a funky weird little lamp, but it does look better. And it makes me smile knowing that my grandparents, my parents, and now my family has shared memories of this lamp. I wonder which kid of mine will want it next?
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10
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