Introduction: HOW TO MODERNIZE AN ANTIQUE FLOOR LAMP
This project is a fun transformation of an old light but needs to make sure the electrical cord was safe all the way through it so replacing the cord is the best thing to do. At all times always make sure to have the light unplugged while working on as this will eliminate any hazard.
Let’s Get Started
I needed a floor lamp that would look good and unique but I couldn’t afford the “new” floor lamp models that I desired. So, I searched Goodwill Stores and antique stores close to my home. I found a 1940 to 1950 version with a solid base and stand that needed a modern update done to it to bring it into the 2000’s. I purchased this wreck for $40. My items at the hardware store were around $10.
With the little expense and time, I will show you how I transformed a rusty old floor lamp into a more modern lamp.
Step 1: Items Needed for This Project
I got all the items together that I was going to need to start and finish this project. With a trip to the hardware store, I purchased all the necessary items to get started.
Items needed for completion of this project can be purchased at any of your big box hardware store. I personally like Menards.
Basic tool set
Camera to take pictures of lamp before you take it apart
Paint (spray paint with primer)
Sandpaper 60 grit and 220 grit
Sanding blocks 220
Steel wool #3
Step 2: Getting Lamp Prepped and Cleaned
First, always be sure that your lamp is not plugged into a socket while working on it.
I cleaned up the lamp from all the old dirt and grime on it through the years. This lamp was from 1940 to 1950 so there is a lot of use and dirt and grime that needed to be removed.
Step 3: Painting the Lamp
Removed all the parts that could be easily taken apart and covered the parts that I did not want the paint to get on with painter’s tape. I then painted the base a fresh coat of paint using a metal spray paint to adhere to the metal shaft easily. When the paint is dry, you can proceed with replacing the old cord set.
Step 4: Taking the Lamp Apart for Rewiring
I recommend taking pictures of the lamp before you take it apart so you can keep parts in the correct order when it comes time to putting the lamp back together. Remove the globe and any of the covers before beginning with the cord set.
Lay the lamp on the ground to make it easier to twist the parts of the lamp loose. Cut the old plug off so the old cord will be easier to remove. As the lamp becomes loose pull each piece off of the wire from inside. I try to lay all my pieces in the order I remove them to make it easier to piece together when I need to reassemble.
Step 5: Begin the Rewiring of the Lamp
When all the pieces are removed I then take the top socket screw out to remove the base of the socket to access the final part of the old wire. I then pull the new wire through the pieces of the lamp from the bottom all the way to the top re-inserting each of the pieces I removed before.
Step 6: Preparing the Wires and Connecting to the Socket
I take the new cord set that has been pulled inside the lamp and split it into two separate wires. I then take the wire strippers and remove a 1/8th inch of the insulation from both wires. Inside the socket base is wire connectors that I remove to remove the old wire from each set of wires. I twist the new wire with the others in that connector and reattach the connector. Now I am ready to replace the socket base and screw.
Step 7: Finishing the Assembly of the Lamp
When I have adjusted my cord in the lamp I reattach the top socket to the base of the lamp again. I then replace all the final pieces of the lamp to finish the project. I replace the lightbulbs, covers, and globe.
Step 8: Finished Project
I then plugged the light in and turned it on and enjoyed all the new light it gives with a sleek, clean, modern appeal.
It’s just that easy!