The Prodigal Lamp Makeover

Funny story about this lamp. This was my lamp when I was a kid. Yes, it sat in my mom-decorated, maroon colored bedroom for years, matching with the bedspread and complimenting the floral wallpaper border. Sheeesh mom, I’m sure you meant well.  When I was finally old enough to insist that I decorate my own room, this lamp was passed on to a family friend. I never thought I would see this lamp again.

the prodigal lamp returns!
Bouclair Home Shade

Turns out, that family friend very generously gave us the contents of a room she was re-decorating, to help fill our furniture lacking giant home. And low and behold, the maroon lamp is back in my life, a little worse for wear, but sorely needed in my house without overhead lights. And can you believe it? After all these years I’m still not a fan of maroon!

peekaboo bulb

The shade was melted and beyond my capabilities to repair, so it got replaced by one from Bouclair Home. Easy peasy switcheroo right? No siree Bob (who am I!) This new shade is much shorter than the original and although it is the same type of fitter (a slip UNO), sat so low between the socket and the bulb that the light bulb peeked out over the top, very unattractively. This is because I went from an Empire” shade to a “Drum/Cylinder” type shade.

Yes, there are many different types of lamps and shades, and before you start a lamp makeover project you should probably spend some time here learning about what you’ve got to work with.

There are also these very helpful illustrations:

Liam wanted to give up and go buy a new lamp base, but I did not falter. This lamp was my lamp, against all odds (well some odds) it returned to me and deserved a second chance in life. Also it worked perfectly and I didn’t want to spend money.  So I put on my creative thinking hat, which I only wear occasionally because it’ not very fashionable right now, and got to work.

It was pretty easy actually, I only needed about and inch more height, and for the socket piece to be a bit thicker so the shade wouldn’t wobble. I used elastics and super glue to build I little shelf for the fitter to sit on.

The elastic bands held up well when I shoved the lamp fitter over the modified socket, and after threading in the bulb I don’t think there will be any melting rubber issues. If I burn my house down I’ll let you know.

 So that was the hard part of the project, the fun part comes now:

getting rid of the maroon!

Like a lot of other things in life, the answer to this problem is spray paint. I had a can of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Ivory paint kicking around for some reason, and emptied it out on my good old childhood lamp. Well first I taped up the parts that shouldn’t get painted, set up my “‘painting studio” -a demolished moving box- and put on my latex gloves … to protect my nails. Because I’m a girl. A very girly girl. The gloves are optional.  I also used an old plastic container to raise the lamp to get good over-all coverage.


And now I have a new old lamp! It looks great in the guest bedroom and provides much-needed light. I’m happy I was able to use this lamp, the lamp that lit my way through all the Harry Potter books, in my first home. A little unexpected piece of the past, given a face lift, to take me in to the future.

it’s almost like night and day

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