How to rewire a table lamp
I loved everything about an old table lamp that I bought on Craigslist except its lampshade and old brass hardware. I took care of the lampshade, so now I needed to rewire it and paint the brass base. When I found an eBay store that sells nickel-plated lamp parts at unbeatable prices, I almost cried tears of joy. And my makeover was underway. (Ignore the coil of green ribbon in the photo. I originally planned to decorate the lampshade with it, but I changed my mind.) (This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here.)
Frankly, I was disappointed with how the silver-painted base turned out. I was hoping for more of a chrome finish, but it ended up looking shiny gray. I would rather have gotten it chrome plated, but chrome plating is expensive. So it is what it is.
How to rewire a table lamp
SUPPLIES & TOOLS
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.
nickel-plated harp and saddle (I used an 8-inch harp)
6-inch adhesive felt circle
1-inch nickel check ring
1/8 IPS lamp pipe (one that’s tall enough for your lamp)
metal lamp base
nuts and washer
cast metal weight (I used the one that came with the lamp)
some lamps might call for additional parts such as washers, necks, or couplings
either a plain finial or make your own finial
small adjustable wrench
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.
5. Then spray paint the base following the instructions on the can. I used Krylon Metallics Bright Silver spray paint. I also used my handy-dandy spray-painting tent.
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 table 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).
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