Saturday, October 15, 2011

B&A: Vintage Milk Glass and Wood Table Lamps

A few weeks ago, I went to an estate sale and bought two matching table lamps for three bucks. Here's one of the two, before. (Click on any of the images to get a closer look.)

They were made of milk glass and wood pieces. Only one had a shade. They needed to be rewired, the wood parts had lost most of their finish, and the milk glass was really grubby.

First off, I took the lamps apart, gave the milk glass parts a bath, and rubbed the wood parts with paste wood refinishing stuff (I can't remember what it's really called, but it looks like brown shoe polish, and probably is).
Then I reassembled the lamps with new wiring.

I tried to find two shades that were of the same size and shape as the one remaining original that I had. (It was not in great shape.) No good. I could have had them custom made, for a fortune. They just are not selling drum shades that are of that size and dimension anymore. So I went to Wal-Mart. There I found two matching shades that were okay, though quite different. I took them home, fully intending to return them if I did not like the look.

Here's my "after" picture. I love these lamps. I really do. I didn't expect to LOVE them.I know that shade is not authentic to mid century design, like the original, but I just simply like it.

These lamps go great in our bedroom.

Of course they now cost a lot more than $1.50 apiece. The shades were $15 each, the wiring maybe another $3 each. Still, they were under $20 each. I think they were worth it.

I'd much rather fix up something old and make it useful again, than buy something new.

I'd love to know who made the glass. It could be anybody. The glass is not of particularly high quality mold, so I doubt it was a "name". Still, it would be cool to find out it's Westmoreland.


Carol Reese said...

Wow, the lamps look nice, but so does the room. You've made progress with that since we were there over a year ago! Did you make the quilt? I'd have bought those lamps in a heartbeat 30 or 40 years ago!

Maria Stahl said...

Carol, yes, I made the quilt - it's more of a comforter as it's only sewn at each seam line and it's heavvvvy! I bought a huge stack of upholstery fabric samples at the thrift store and ended up cutting them up and sewing them together. It's filled with woolen batting, too, so it's very warm. The backing is washable cotton velvet, so it will stay on the bed. :)

Carol Reese said...

By the way, I meant to add that the newer shades, though not like the original, actually update the lamps while keeping the vintage flavor. I like them. I often quilt things 'in the ditch' if I don't send them out to a long-armer. It's easy and quick and for the small projects that I do quilt myself, it's usually more than adequate.

Felisol said...

The lamps are just beautiful and fit right in your bedroom.
What I most admire about you is; not only have you the ability to make great bargains, but you have class and good taste, so the things you buy really enhance your home.
What an inspiring blog that makes.

Catherine said...

Nice lamps and the new shades look very nice.

Cathie said...

great job on the lamps! Love them! I found a nice milkglass lamp too. and am looking for a shade. I"ll check out Walmart! Thanks for the tips and you did a wonderful job! Good buy!

Comeca Jones said...

Would it be bad if I said I like the before as well as the after?! Great find!