Vintage Lamp Makeover

Hi everyone!  I am
Donna from Modern on Monticello and I’m excited to be sharing my first project
as a contributor to A Glimpse Inside blogging audience.
To give you just a brief background on myself and my blog, I
live in a mid-century modern home built in the late 70’s and I mostly blog
about trying to fix up our dated home, as well as many other fun DIY
projects.  I am also a Certified Interior
Designer, a wife, and a mom.
This year I am finally completing a renovation project to
our dated family room but we aren’t even close to posting about that reveal just
yet.  In the meantime, I am working on
some furniture and accessories for that room that you will see in upcoming
The first one is a Vintage Lamp Makeover.
I inherited this lamp from my grandparents.  In fact, my parents gave my grandparents this
lamp as a Christmas present the first Christmas 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 manufacturer of this lamp.
Crown Creative and found images of what it would have looked like in 1968 and
how much it was worth these days. Nearly $100 if you have all the original parts and shade, which mine doesn’t.  I was
surprised to see what people were willing to pay and how ugly some of the “updates”
people had done to them.  I just knew I could
make this lamp look so much better.
Here is an image from Ebay showing what the original lamp probably looked like in 1968.
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 belly 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 belly stove, I
wanted to add some sort of wood tone to the natural linen shade I purchased at Lowe’s.  Anything is better than what the original
shade looked like in 1968. 
I purchased wood veneer edging at Lowe’s cabinet
finishing department and stained it in an Early American stain color by
MinWax.  Since these wood veneer strips
are backed with self-adhesive glue, it was easy to attach 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” below 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?

I will be back next month with another DIY project.
Connect with Donna:

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