You probably remember this lamp. Its first makeover was four years ago. Frankly, the fabric-covered lamp shade was a disappointment, and brass just isn’t my thing. When I found an eBay store that sells nickel-plated lamp parts at unbeatable prices, I almost cried tears of joy. Then all I needed was a new lamp shade to paint. This off-white fabric drum shade was perfect.
This isn’t my first time rewiring a table lamp either. Last time I used a lamp kit and didn’t go into much detail. This time I’ll show you how to assemble the individual parts, which should be of more use to you.
Tutorial and photos after the jump!
The reason for this makeover: I bought new table lamps for my living room, so this lamp was moved to the bedroom to use as a bedside light. It was a bit tall to reach the switch from bed, so I needed to replace the turn-knob with a pull-chain.
1. Apply painter’s tape in your desired pattern. My chain pattern has 3- by 2-1/2-inch links, spaced as evenly as possible. Use scissors to cut the tape with clean, straight edges.
2. Cover your work surface with paper or a drop cloth. Coat the entire outside of the lamp shade with paint.
Tip 1: Use only flat paints when painting fabric because the sheen will leave unsightly streak marks.
Tip 2: To keep paint from bleeding under the tape, try painting a coat of clear matte medium first. I didn’t try it myself and had trouble with bleeding paint.
Tip 3: Most paint is opaque, which blocks light and makes your shade look darker when the light is on. If you want a more transparent color, try lightly coating your shade with spray paint instead or mix your paint with a clear matte medium.
3. Place the lampshade on a lamp or a tall vase to dry. When dry, remove the tape, then get started on your lamp (below).
You can buy the majority of these lamp parts at this Lamp Parts eBay store. Some parts only come in multiples, but even so, the prices are amazing. Just save the extras for your next lamp project. Or you can buy entire lamp kits.
1. Unplug the lamp. Remove the lamp shade and light bulb. Remove and discard the felt from under the base. Using a wrench, unscrew and remove the nut at the base of the lamp.
Tip: Save all the pieces when disassembling a lamp (except where noted above). It’s even a good idea to lay them out in the correct order, as a guide for reassembling the lamp later.
2. Remove the socket cover.
3. Unscrew the screws attaching the wires to the base of the socket and disconnect the wires.
4. Pull the cord out through the bottom of the lamp. Do not remove the second nut from the pipe.
4. Because I couldn’t find a silver lamp base, I spray painted my old base. If you want to do the same, first clean the base with mineral spirits to remove oils, etc. that might limit adhesion.
6. Feed the new cord through the hole in the side of the base, then through the nut, washer, weight, and top hole of the base—in that order.
7. Continue by feeding the cord through the pipe.
8. Tighten down the nut underneath the base.
9. Slide the main lamp body onto the pipe.
10. Slide the check ring and saddle onto the pipe, then screw the base of the socket onto the pipe. Tighten it down securely, keeping the lamp body centered over the lamp base.
11. Loosen the screws on the socket, then curl one bare wire around and underneath the head of each screw. Tighten the screws back down to hold the wires in place.
12. Insert the socket into the socket base, then pop the socket cover onto the base. It will click when it’s locked down.
13. Gently pull out some of the slack in the cord but not all of it. Clamp the plastic bushing around the cord, then insert it into the hole on the side of the lamp base.
14. Peel off the backing from the felt circle. Adhere its edges around the rim of the base.
15. Insert the harp into the saddle, screw in the light bulb, and get started on your finial (below).
Supplies and tools
1. Hold the drawer pull on top of the button finial and wrap the chain around the seam. With scissors, cut a length of ball chain that’s exactly the right circumference.
2. Apply a dollop of glue on the top of the button finial, then press the bottom of the knob onto the glue.
3. Gently apply a thin line of glue all the way around the seam, them wrap the ball chain over the glue. Let dry at least 24 hours before attaching it to your harp. You’re done!
Tip: The glue is still wet and slippery at this point, so handle the finial gingerly until it’s dry.