The 1980’s called and it wants its lamp back.
My mum had a lamp base. A particularly awful one that looked like it belonged in the 1980’s. Sadly, I think she bought it much later than that. Much, much later actually. Anyways, I finally convinced her it had to go. But I couldn’t throw it away – it was functioning perfectly well. You know how ugly things never seem to die, so you can justify getting rid of them? They work perfectly, just to piss you off I think. Kinda the way “ugly” people often live till they are 100 whereas the nice ones get taken too early.
The older I get, the more I see my parents in myself. Like when I can’t help but pick up someone else’s trash and put it in the bin because it isn’t right to leave it there once I have seen it and know it’s there. My Dad does this. I am proud that I (mostly) have his unwavering values and do the right thing. Even when no one is looking. Another thing I have of my dad’s is an inability to waste anything. Even a really bloody awful lamp that doesn’t have the decency to stop working so it can be thrown out justifiably! So I decided to attempt to breathe new life into the old thing. Here it is in all it’s brassy, daggy glory:
Granted, nothing looks that good taped off and sitting on cardboard on the front lawn but I think you can tell that this lamp was to interior design what the neon hypercolour shirt was to fashion. Not good. (And don’t tell me you didn’t have one – everyone had one!)
So this was a tall order to make this thing look decent again. I am actually pretty proud of this project as I used something that would have been in the trash if not for a lick of paint and some twine. I like giving things a second chance 🙂
I thought the one saving feature of this lamp was that it kind of had a profile like a turned piece of wood for an old candlestick. So I thought I would try a bit of contrast and use a modern black/white colour scheme to snazzy it up a bit and bring it into this century. So I taped it off and sprayed it with a matt white primer (Rustoleum of course – that stuff is so good). I wanted to contrast it with gloss black so after it dried I taped half of it off and covered the bottom half up before spraying in gloss black. But alas, it was not Rustoleum and despite having been primed it had areas where the paint looked cracked. Grrrr. So I just grabbed the matt black Rustoleum that I already had and after it dried I went over it with that.
After it dried I peeled away all the tape and covering. And discovered the black had dripped down onto the white. Bugger. Guess I didn’t tape it well enough. I took stock of the situation and decided that the lamp needed something else other than just black and white anyway and decided to try using some of my bright pink twine. I love this stuff. Adds great texture and a lovely shot of colour to things 🙂 So I wrapped it around just the centre part (to cover the drips!) and glued it with a dab of super glue. Et voila! It needs a white lampshade (or you could even cover one in a bright fabric) but I think this lamp is pretty darn cool now! I almost kept it for myself but then I remembered I am about to move to a shoe box in HK and have no space for my second child, let alone another lamp. So I gave it to a friend of mine. (Who coincidentally has the green media cabinet I did and this lamp looks great with it!) so here it is:
And here is a little side by side action so you can really appreciate the transformation!