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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Such a simple and neat makeover. Old lamps are always great. #HomeMattersParty
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai says
Wow, this lamp brings back memories. My parents had a large potbelly stove floor lamp that always sat near our front door. What a fun project. It turned out great. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂
Life With Lorelai
I have always wanted to redo a thrift store lamp like this. Your antique lamp is super cool and unique. #HomeMattersParty
I love it! I love anything with feet on it for some odd reason and that lamp looks amazing! Great job! #HomeMattersParty
Thanks Melissa. Hopefully in the next week it will finally have a permanent place to stay in our front room remodel.
I love having things from my mother and grandmother. Good job of updating it.
Thanks Carol. I’m still waiting to finish the room it will go in but hopefully by the end of the month this lamp will finally have a permanent home.
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai says
We had a floor lamp with the pot bellied stove base that sat by our front door at my parents’ house. Your lamp makeover turned out great. Thanks for sharing and co-hosting at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂
Life With Lorelai
It’s really nice that you enjoy items from your grandparents. So nice to have heirlooms like this. You did a very good job of refurbishing it. I remember when these miniature cast iron stoves were so in style. This lamp is very farmhouse style now.
Thanks Leanna. The room I plan to use this lamp in has dark real wood paneling that we plan to paint to lighten up the room. I think this lamp will look great in the room with it’s large rustic fireplace too.
michelle james says
Such a cute makeover Donna! Love the shade! #homemattersparty
I did this ages ago with a few lamps, and actually need to rewire some again! Thanks for sharing, #HomeMattersParty
Thanks Emily. It was very easy once I got started.
What a cool lamp to inherit and give a modern makeover. I love what you did, looks great! Stopping by from the #HomeMattersParty
You are speaking right to my salvage heart! Great job!!!! #homemattersparty
You did a great job Donna, the lamp looks fantastic
Thanks Amber. And thanks for hosting a great link up each week.
I think It’s a great lamp! The changes you made were spot on! I especially think the Lamp shade really brings the lamp to life! Great Job! Thanks for sharing that! #HomeMattersParty
Thanks for sharing! I like it- just the right amount of changes, yet still your family lamp!
Thanks Melony. I think my granddaddy would like it.
I like the idea of updating a family heirloom to fit your style. It is looking good. Lamp shades can be tricky but it all came together for you.
Thanks Debra. I hope it has a place in the house for a long time.
It turned out great! I love old things. They last longer than new things. It’s sometimes hard to find lamp shades I like though.
Thanks Alissa. I agree, lampshades can be hard to find the right one. I always have good light at Lowe’s and Target.
Sarah Szczypinski says
I love the idea of repurposing and modernizing a family piece. It looks great 🙂
Thanks Sarah. Hopefully by this summer our family room will be finished and it will finally have a home.