All information is advice only and is based on my experience, I take no responsibility for any injury or harm caused, if in doubt always ask a professional, I am not one.
Restoring or renovating your lamp can be a tricky business, I am by no means an expert but what follows is based on my experience. First off its important to decide just how for you want to go. There is of course the temptation to go all out for a ‘nuts and bolts’ restoration but a lot of the time a rewire will be all you need. If you completely restore the lamp it can look fantastic but you will have erased a bit of its history and patina, basically it’s always a play off.
If you do decide to you want it fully restored but are not confident in doing yourself, then there are people out there who can do it for you, with great results but it can be pricey, the cheapest way will always be to do it yourself. For a really good finish deconstruct the lamp as much as possible, but take a picture before you start so you know how it goes back together! Use small spanners not pliers as these can damage the bolts and aluminium. Put all small removed parts into a container so as not to loose them.
Stripping off…(the old paint that is)
For this you will need:
- Paint stripper
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- Paint brush
- Some thing to cover the surface your working on
- Wire wool
- Old toothbrush or nailbrush
Mainly this just involves following the instructions that come with the stripper. Do make sure you don’t get the stripper on you it hurts! It can take a fair while and a few applications and scrub downs with the wire wool and brushes to finally remove all the paint. If your intending to repaint the lamp then it’s a good idea to scrub it down with a fine sandpaper to remove any traces of paint or rust.
Make sure you wipe down all surfaces to be sprayed with alcohol to remove any grease, which would stop the paint from adhering to the metal. As your spraying metal you will need to do an undercoat first. You can paint by hand but spray if more even and should give you a better finish. Spray somewhere with good ventilation. When spraying it helps to warm the spray can in warm water, and make sure you shake it well. If you are doing it outside make sure its not a damp or cold day as both of these factors will effect the paint. Build up several very fine layers of paint, leaving 15 minutes between applications, don’t be tempted to put to much on in one go or it will dribble. If this happens it’s not the end of the world but you will have to wait until the paint fully dries then sand it down before re paining. Once the undercoat is dry (leave at least 24 hours) have a feel of it. You may want to use wet and dry paper to smooth it down before applying the topcoat. Apply the topcoat the same way as the undercoat but be even more careful to do lots of very small layers.
Once the painting of all the bits is done leave them as long as possible to harden before constructing, the paint will be dry in 24 hours but not hard for a week at least. Refer to the photo you took at the beginning to fit the lamp back together. I have found the most difficult bit to be reattaching the shade without scratching it. Use something to brace the clip open while locating the shade onto one clip then slowly lower the other clip into position.
I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN. So what follows is to be taken with a big pinch of salt.
The old flex will need to be replaced in most cases, as will the bulb holder and plug. For suppliers of these you can go to your local electrical shop. However these usually have a very limited supply so you might want to go online, one or two useful links to this can be found in the links page of this site. What is important is that you make sure the lamp is earthed, if its not you could be in for a shock! Most metal bulb holders have a screw on the outside for this purpose, and on older (steel armed) Anglepoise’s there is a small earthing point either at the bottom of the central section of the lower arm of on the ‘V’ section, which the springs attach to.
Braided 3 core flex can be the best as it looks great, but also, as its thinner it fits though the arms more easily. REMEMBER: if your attaching new rubber grommets into the cable holes do this before you begin to rewire, otherwise you will need to start again.
The felt baize on the base is often missing you can either buy a readymade self adhesive part online or get some felt and glue it on. If you do this drawing around the base is the best way to go.
Well that’s it for now. |’l add bits as and when I think of any.