The lamp has a signature on it and after a quick Google search I discovered that it was made by Fine Arts in Plaster. According to Google, the time period is Mid-Century Modern and it's counterparts are selling on ebay for $150! Oops... too late now. Makeover it is.
The first thing I did was replace the electrical cord. If this lamp really is Mid-Century Modern, that means the electrical dates back to the 1950's. Definitely time for an upgrade! A Make-A-Lamp Kit from Home Depot did the trick.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the rewiring but it was very simple. I followed the instructions on the package and I made sure to take a picture of the lamp before I disassembled it. That way, putting it back together would be a snap. Before I reassembled the lamp, I cleaned all of the brass pieces with a lemon and salt scrub to remove as much of the dirt, grime and tarnish as I could.
Next I painted the plaster base with a Crevecoeur Grey Martha Stewart paint sample from Home Depot, much like the one pictured below. I was too lazy to sand and prime the lamp so it took several coats of paint to get the coverage I wanted.
Since the brass grooves were badly tarnished and impossible to clean I thought that gold leafing them would make them pop. I purchased a gold leaf starter kit from Amazon and after the base had dried I gold leafed each individual circular groove. Once again, I don't have any pictures from the gold leafing process but it was pretty easy if not slightly tedious. I just used a paint brush to apply the adhesive to the grooves and then I used a Q-tip to burnish on a tiny piece of the gold leaf. Lastly, I used the same paint brush to apply the sealer on each one. It was time intensive but I enjoyed the process. I watched Love Story and The Sting while gilding. Gold Leafing + Old Movies = Fun!
Lamps Plus. I wanted a barrel lampshade because the lamp will reside on our windowsill and space will be tight. This simple shade measures 8x11" and looks great with the lamp.
I made a quick trip to Mood (of Project Runway fame and yes, Mood is on my list for a Shopping in the City post!) and purchased a yard of linen fabric to cover the lampshade. A yard was more than enough fabric, in fact I had enough fabric leftover to cover another shade and still had some to spare.
I used Isabella and Max Room's fabulous step-by-step tutorial to covering a lampshade. I used fabric adhesive and since the shade was a barrel shape, it was super easy to wrap the linen fabric around it.
Finally I had some gold grosgrain ribbon from Kate's Paperie in my ribbon stash and it was the perfect accent to add to the shade. I used the fabric adhesive and applied it on top of the linen.
And here is the finished lamp! I love the way it turned out even though it was a month long process. There were a lot of steps involved but it was well worth the effort. It's unique and really adds an element of interest to our living room.
Martha Stewart Paint Sample: $3
Gold Leafing Kit: $10
Drum Lampshade: $20
One Yard of Linen Fabric: $14
Ribbon: Free (already purchased)
(Not bad, considering I was thinking about spending around $150 to get a new corner reading lamp)