People are always looking for ways to do things with less effort and cost. One way to save time, energy, and money is by reusing old materials in new ways. That’s why people are turning vintage table lamps into modern statement pieces that can be found in any room of the house. Read on for five easy hacks you can use today!
Why buy a new table lamp when you can customize your old one
Do you have an old lamp that is not your style anymore? It could be a touch outdated or simply doesn’t suit your living room. Whatever the reason, there are many creative ways to update your old lamp and make it work for you again.
If the lamp is in good condition, you can paint it or add a new shade. For a more dramatic look, try adding some LED lighting which can give your lamps a neon or starry glow.
If the lamp is not in good condition, you can find replacement parts such as a new shade or a different colored lamp base. You could also try to do more extensive repairs like adding new wiring and changing out components to repair cracks or dents in the frame of the lamp.
Most of these projects take just a few hours and can be done in the comfort of your home.
First, you need to gather all the tools you will need and start by cleaning up any broken pieces that might fall apart on you as you work
Paint Your Lamp: If your lamp has seen better days or it is simply not your style anymore, painting is an easy way to give your old lamp a new look. You should turn off the power source or unplug the lamp and then remove all shades or covers from the lamp so they don’t get accidentally painted.
For this example, we chose a classic wooden table lamp with black accents on the base and top plate. You could paint these just like any other wood piece but you will want to sand down the surfaces first for a smooth finish. Once they are smooth, wipe down the lamp with a damp cloth and let it dry
If you have never painted before, start by mixing your paint indoors using about three parts primer to one part paint. If you need to repaint the black accents on our example lamp, lightly sand these areas until they are smooth. Paint them with two coats of black primer then let dry before trying to paint
Once the entire lamp is properly primed and painted, add any new decorations such as patterns or even words in an accent color if desired.
From this point on any design choices are up to you! You could even use stencils or cut outs from magazine clippings to add some pizazz.
If you really want your lamp to stand out, you could go as far as adding a starburst or even glow in the dark paint if that is what will make it work for you!
Paint an old lamp with chalkboard paint
I’ve had this table lamp for years and while I love the way it looks, I wanted something different. I found a tutorial on how to paint an old lamp with chalkboard paint and started to get really excited. The idea is that you can write or draw on this new chalkboard surface with anything from chalk to sharpies and it won’t come off!
I began my project by wiping down the lamp with a dry cloth to remove any dust particles that may be there. Next, I cleaned off the top of the lamp plate using glass cleaner and paper towels. Once it was all dry, I applied two coats of wax in a contrasting color over the entire surface of the lamp. This gives you a chance to decide which areas you want to paint and which areas you would like to keep the same.
After this first coat, I let it dry for about 15 minutes and then added a second coat of wax in a contrasting color. This will give your chalkboard paint something to adhere to! After the two coats of wax dried, I turned on my light bulb and held up my can of spray chalkboard paint 6 inches from the lamp. It took me four or five sprays until I was satisfied with the coverage. Repeat this process for any additional colors that you are using. You could even add bigger sections of color with vinyl decals if you choose! Let everything sit overnight to allow the wax to set completely before touching it or trying to use your new chalkboard!
I added a second coat of chalkboard paint over the entire lamp in order to give it more durability, especially on the neck. I also decided to freehand some pretty flowers because why not! It took me about two hours from start to finish and I LOVE how it turned out. This is most certainly a statement piece!
This project cost under $10 (chalkboard spray paint is the expensive part) and could be used for anything from writing your grocery list or drawing something that you want to hang on your wall. To erase all of the things you write just use an eraser or any other tool that will remove chalk marked surfaces!
Add cool new parts like LED lights to an old lamp
There are a lot of ways to update and customize your old lamps. One way is to add LED lights to make your lamp more of a statement piece in any room. Simply unscrew the bulb and add two or three LED lights into its socket. Many of these lights come with a remote that you can use to change their settings. And Radio Shack just happens to have one for under $10!
Turn on the lights then press the power button on your remote control or lamp. Once you’ve done that, you should see a static blue light that indicates the bulb is working.
In addition, if you’re using a Philips Hue and use the IFTTT app to link your lights with Twitter. When there are new tweets on any of your streams you should see that same static blue light come on for about 10 seconds, then go off after approximately 15 seconds. Then there’ll be another one in 40 minutes from the original time.
If you’re an Apple fan, using the Hue app you can set up several “scenes”; settings that control multiple bulbs at once. You can associate any of these scenes with a location on a map, so if somebody says in a tweet “#London”, then your lights will flash and change to reflect whatever scene you’ve linked to London.
I also like how IFTTT works in combination with Siri. When there are new tweets about any trending topics that have been posted by anyone, say “Siri turn on the lights”. Then your room should light up immediately!
How to repaint an old lamp in a different color and style
I got a new lamp but it didn’t match the room. I needed to paint it to match my decor, but I didn’t know how to paint a lamp. I looked up tips on Pinterest and they were really helpful. Here are some tips that I found helpful:
1) Sand down the old paint with sandpaper, even if it’s not peeling off at the edges yet.
2) Wash the lamp before painting it to remove dust and debris.
3) Prime the surface of your lamp with an oil-based primer like Kilz (be sure to use gloves). If you have a latex-based primer, use that instead for lamps made from plastic or metal.
4) Paint several thin coats. You can also apply an additional coat of clear gloss in between each coat.
5) Wait for the paint to dry, and then enjoy your new lamp!
Install a dimmer switch on a table lamp
I got this great lamp but it was way too bright at night. I needed to install a dimmer switch so I could change the lighting intensity. Here are some tips that helped me:
1) Turn off your table lamp and plug it out before working with any wires inside the lamp itself.
2) Cut off the old cord from your table lamp.
3) Remove the decorative nut at the base of your table lamp using pliers, or use vice grips if you don’t have pliers.
4) Install splice closures at the ends of your lamp’s wires
5) Cut off the wires about 3in from each closure and then strip away about ½ in of each wire’s insulation
6) Twist together the bare copper strands to create a positive connection, and splice in the ground wire using whichever color (green or copper) you have spare. Remember: red is hot, black is neutral and white is ground! Make sure you use a power tool with an insulated bit like a Dremel for cutting holes to avoid electrical shock while working on your dimmer switch installation.
7) Reattach your base by screwing back in the decorative nut that you removed previously. Make sure it’s nice and tight before proceeding further!8) Add in your dimmer switch and then put everything back together if you had to remove anything.
9) Test out your new dimmer switch!
The benefits of reusing materials in new ways, including saving time, money, and energy
Reusing materials in new ways is a good way to save time. You’ll also save money and energy since you won’t have to buy new materials. Reusing materials is also environmentally friendly because it reduces the amount of waste going into landfills
It’s also a good idea to reuse something if you know that it will be of use to someone else. What does recycling mean? When you recycle, you simply re-use an item instead of throwing it away.
This could mean reusing the lampshade on a new lamp, or mounting it to add light to a different location. Below are some ideas for how you can customize your table lamp with items that you already have around the house.
Another option is to create a composite lampshade. A composite shade is made from two or more materials pressed together, such as the old window shade that you have in your basement press waiting for a good project.
Make your table lamp sparkle by covering it with glue and beading it with various decorative materials like glitter or glass bead strands. Then allow it to dry on your work table for several days so it will be strong enough to support the weight of the beads after they are applied. Add a bit of bling to your lampshade by glueing on pieces of mirror, small cut glass bowls or anything else that will reflect the light.
You can also elevate the look of your table lamp with some open weave baskets strategically placed as a base. You can fill them with matching potpourri like cinnamon sticks, dried lavender and fresh flowers.
These are just a few ideas to help you customize your new table lamp for less money than buying all new materials.
With a few simple hacks, you can update that old lamp and make it more of an eye-catching statement piece in any room. Whether you paint your lamp new colors or add some cool features like LED lighting to give the room’s atmosphere a boost, there are so many ways to transform what was once just an ordinary object into something special.
Thanks for reading! Comment below if this article helped provide inspiration about how to update your own lamps with these quick DIY tips.