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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vintage Lamp Revamp

I'm baaaaaack! Wow, it's been a long time since I last blogged and I really have no excuse. Ok, I might have a small excuse. We sold our D.C. house back in August and while we looked for a new home, moved to the Virginia countryside with my parents. You would think that being away from the madness of the city and having my mom to help with the wee babe would prompt me to really ratchet up my craftiness but it's kind of had the opposite effect. It's not that I haven't been doing any projects, it's just that I've had zero interest in documenting them. It's been a long couple months with a lot going on. My parents bought an old farmhouse that needs loads of work and Mr. B and I have been getting our fill of stacking wood, clearing brush, painting walls, sanding floors and yard sales but the house is coming along day by day. Between the fixer upper and my not so little baby girl (she's already ONE!!!) keeping me oh so busy, I've found myself not wanting to blog. I guess I've felt in limbo, waiting to know where we are going to land before "taking on" anything new to write about. It's been a sweet time spent with family and I'm thankful for it but all good things must come to an end and it has, which can only mean one thing... WE FOUND A HOUSE! YAAAAAAY! A lovely four bedroom, 3.5 bath, open kitchen with a wall of windows and a great backyard HOUSE!

Ohhhhh, I am so excited! We've already closed on the property but don't take possession for another four days. I would say these are going to be the longest four days EVER, but, then again, I've experienced watching the clock tick for 12 anxious days past my due date. Four days are nothing. 

Having a new home on the horizon has gotten me out of my little funk and I've been excitedly lining up new post ideas. One of the HUGE advantages of living in the country again has been the steals on Craigslist and in thrift stores. You can find all kinds of goodies without the jacked up city prices. 

This brings us to today's post! A few weeks back, my mom and I were checking out a picker's warehouse (oh, the joy!) and I noticed a quirky lamp tucked back in a corner. It was dirty. It was rusty. It was patina-ed. It was perfect. The base has this gorgeous chartreuse glass globe with a nightlight in it and when the warehouse owner dared the cobwebs and plugged it in, both lights worked. I took it home for $20! (insert winky-face emoji)

I started out by disassembling the lamp to see what I had. 

Oy, it was a dirty, rusty mess. Inside the old socket, I found a dried out and thankfully dead, spiders' nest. Complete with baby spider skeletons. I might have screamed a little. 

I have to admit, the thought of rewiring a lamp intimidated me but the thought of my new house burning to the ground was enough motivation for me to give it a try. I bought a rewiring kit on Amazon for about $10. The instructions in the kit are pretty straightforward but unfortunately, my double light lamp would not be so easy. 

The wires for the nightlight weren't long enough to fit on the new socket once I had cut them from the old one, so I needed to splice them to a new piece of wire. Cue helpful father to calm the nerves and explain how to splice... it's easy just strip the wires, twist the old and new together, and wrap it in electrical tape. Voila! Spliced wires.

Don't mind the rustiness, this picture was taken before I finished "finishing" it!

And when splicing makes your wires too thick to thread through the opening, unsplice and add one of these thingys. You crimp it onto the wire and it fits right into the socket screw! Pretty easy.

Then put your lamp back together and plug it in! AND TRIP THE BREAKER AND MAKE SPARKS!!!

Uh, yeah, turns out I didn't have the right socket for this lamp. I needed a three way lamp socket to account for the nightlight. The other one left a wire touching metal... if you didn't know, that's a no-no when it comes to electricity. Once I bought the correct socket and re-installed the wires and it worked like a charm! 

I topped it off with a cool burlap shade I found out in the garage, a leftover of the previous owner. I think it gives the lamp a more modern/casual feel. 

There you have it, a rewired, revamped lamp that I can't wait to see lit up in our new house!!!


Mrs. B


  1. An amazing find! What a cool piece. Plus, I am very impressed with your electrical work. Nicely done.