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Mid Century Makeover

I love the look of Mid Century Modern furniture. I know it is really popular now, but I have had an affinity for it for years. I have several pieces in my basement game room. I found this mid century lamp at a garage sale a couple of years ago.

It had been painted white which was really faded and cracked now.

I cleaned the frame and sanded all the rough edges.

It wasn't difficult to determine the original color. The back leg had this wooden ball on the back. There were traces of black on the bottom where the paint had worn away. I removed the wooden ball and could see the original color was definitely black. I decided to take it back to the original color.

After sanding and cleaning the frame, I dismantled the arm of the lamp to make this easier to paint. I turned it upside down on my tarp and gave it two coats of Rustoleum black gloss spray paint. After that dried, I turned it upright and sprayed the top side of the base.

After it was dry, it was time to rewire the lamp. I had removed all of the old lamp cord an socket before I painted it. I bought a new cord in 15 ft length. I also purchased a new socket. I thought the most difficult task would be to run the cord up the tube. It is about four feet high and I have had cords get hung up on me in the past. This one just sailed through it. I started to connect it to the new socket and discovered the piece that connected the old socket to the lamp tube was broken. That explained why the socket was hanging by a thread—literally.

It was about 10:30 in the evening at this point and I live in a small town. There was no way I was going to be able to get a replacement locally. Fortunately, I found a piece that worked beautifully on It took only four days for it to arrive.

Once I received the new piece, it was easy to finish assembling the lamp. If you have never re-wired a lamp, it is really easy. Just take photos of how everything was connected in the old lamp (all the small parts and connectors) and follow the directions included with every new socket assembly. I know it can be scary, but it is remarkably simple.

After the socket was attached, I just added the lamp shade and a new bulb. I cleaned the formica insert and slipped it back into the frame.

Now this lamp is clean and wired for safe use. I particularly love the magazine rack just under the tabletop. Plenty of room for all your periodicals.

This only required a can of spray paint and a lamp kit (and adaptor). The table originally cost $3 at the garage sale. I had about $20 in the spray paint and the lamp kit and new adaptor. This really needs a new lamp shade as well, but I haven't found a source for "threaded UNO" lamp shades yet. Still on the hunt....

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