Since We’re On A Lighting Roll…

Since We’re On A Lighting Roll…

I’ve had this little project brewing and semi-complete for a while now. But the hold-up in finishing was finding a shade that would work. It’ll all make sense. Trust me.

First, here’s the lamp I found thrifting.

Round Base Lamp

I bet you’re wishing this find was yours. I know you do! Don’t you just love the sombrero scale of the shade?

Here’s a close-up of the base.

Diamond Design in Lamp Base

A little grimy, and in need of some TLC scrubbing.

Just the job for Bar Keepers Friend. Have you ever used this before?

Bar Keepers Friend Liquid Cleaner

I was introduced to it by Lisa from Lisa Goulet Design in this post… thank you for the introduction, Lisa!

Here’s a quick ‘Before’ and ‘After’…

Cleaning With Bar Keepers Friend

Sure took the tarnish off.

But I had to get into the grooves with a Q-tip.

Removing Tarnish from Metal Lamp

Can you see the difference between the pattern on the left vs. the right? I didn’t want to emphasize the pattern, even though the black in the grooves was intentional.

After the lamp base was completely cleaned, check out the golden hue it took on.

Tarnish Removed from Metal Lamp

Here’s another look at it.

Bar Keepers Friend on Metal Lamp Base

And this is how the lamp was left since the beginning of March, but only because finding a shade was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Fast forward to last week, and here’s what I found just on spec at Liquidation World.

A pretty little cotton shade…

White Cotton Lamp Shade

And the scale is good.

Metal Lamp & White Cotton Shade

Perfect for what I have in mind!

Here’s what I did next.

Frame inside Cotton Lamp Shade

Gasp! Ruin a perfectly good shade?

You bet, and I blacken the frame, too!

Painting Wire Frame of Lamp Shade

You see I wanted to try a skeleton shade. Do you remember when I featured skeleton shades in this post?

What I didn’t anticipate was how tough finding an inexpensive shade with the right center piece and all the wire sections would be. Trust me, I looked!

Want to see how the lamp turned out?

First, a little look back…


Round Base Lamp - Metal

Remember the sombrero?

Well here’s the skeleton shade in place of the sombrero!


Skeleton Lamp Shade on Metal Lamp

Kind of fun, right?

We replaced the socket piece with one that had a tri-light switch, but couldn’t find a clear tri-light bulb in this round shape. We ended up putting in a 40 watt bulb, and it’s plenty bright…

As you can see here.

Skeleton Lamp Shade on Metal Lamp

Round 40 watt bulb in Skeleton Lamp Shade

Round 40 watt bulb in Skeleton Lamp Shade

Skeleton Lamp Shade on Metal Lamp


Skeleton Lamp Shade on Metal Lamp

What do you think? Is a skeleton shade for you?

I was inspired by a few blogs that I read, and some photos on Pinterest. This project was all about trying something new, and the key was to keep the costs down… but also just to have fun. By thrifting and being thrifty this project only cost $15 and it really was fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

10 thoughts on “Since We’re On A Lighting Roll…”

  • How cute is this lamp? Love that you got to use Bar Keepers Friend. It’s a very versatile cleaner. I have a few more for it as well. I’m loving the skeleton shade and glad that you darkened it. Did you paint it?

    • Thanks Lisa! I did paint the frame. I actually painted it at the same time as the dining room chandelier. But finding the shade was pure luck with great timing, because I didn’t have it when we were prepping for the chandelier make-over. I just stumbled upon in when I was looking into bulbs for the chandelier! So it was awesome to find in the nick of time, and spray both out at the same time! 🙂

  • Interesting! Very unique base. I’m kind of surprised you chose to go with a clear rather than frosted/white bulb – doesn’t the clear one hurt the eyes a bit?

    • You are right and make a great point: the clear is harder on the eyes, but the frosted loses the impact of the overall look, so we made a trade-off. But in choosing form over function, that was why the project had to be inexpensive to do. The lamp is more like a piece of art in the room, than it is key lighting, yet we have the option to utilize its function when we need to. We’ll see where it takes us as after we live with it for a bit… Thanks for pointing this out!

  • Cool! I think it’s really fun and different and definitely a nod to the industrial look we all know and love. I’ll have to keep this in mind.

  • I’ve seen industrial pendant lights with a shade like this, but never a table lamp – I kinda like it 🙂 It’s different, and like you said, it’s fun to try something new – so why not a skeleton shade? 🙂

    Enjoy your new lamp – which looks fab all cleaned up, by the way. The gold colour is really beautiful.

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