When we moved into our house and started cleaning out the basement, I found this old desk lamp. I liked the style, but the colour was a bit ‘meh’ and the electrical wire needed replacement. So I added ‘desk lamp makeover’ to the everlasting ‘projects I want to do someday’-list. When I started planning my mason jar lamp tutorial, I knew I finally could give the desk lamp a second life!
I started off by giving the desk lamp a good dust down. As I was planning on dismantling the lamp completely, I made lots of pictures. When you think you’ve made enough pictures, make some more from different angles! I didn’t do this thoroughly enough and puzzling the pieces together afterwards, wasn’t an easy task!
Before you start, collect all of the things you need. I wanted to rewire and repaint the lamp, so I bought some coloured fabric electrical cable and a plug. I didn’t need a light switch, because there was a mechanism connected to the original lamp fitting. I also bought spray paint. Other than this, you’ll probably need screwdrivers and a wrench.
After taking the desk lamp apart, I sanded all the pieces lightly and than cleaned them thoroughly. I also taped off the pieces I couldn’t remove and didn’t want to spray. I sprayed my desk lamp multiple times, trying to put light coats on it. After a couple of coats on the first day I let it dry for almost 24 hours. Then I sanded the places I screwed up and put on some extra coats.
I figured the screws probably were brass and it would be nice to get them shining again. I put them in some yoghurt, as I read this would work as a mild acid. Afterwards I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result (I think rinsing them in between and putting them back into the yoghurt, maybe letting them sit longer would’ve given a better result), so I also sanded them down.
After the screws were sanded and all the paint was dry, it was time to put the lamp together again! Unlike Humpty Dumpty, I did manage to put all the pieces together. It took me a while to figure things out, but in the end, I managed.
Putting in the new electrical wire was a piece of cake, after my first experience putting lamps together. If you need more information about rewiring lamps, I suggest you take a look at my Mason Jar Lamp Tutorial.
Before I knew it, I was enjoying my new desk lamp! This lamp makeover was a lot quicker than I’d anticipated and seeing the result, it was worth it. I love my new, colourful, desk lamp!
Project costs: second hand desk lamp, €0 – spray paint, €9,50 (to be honest, this should be €0, as I bought the spray paint a long time ago for a different project) – 3 metres of fabric electrical cable, €11,97 – plug, €2,25.