the thrift store lamp.

A couple of weekends ago, before the world shut down, my sister and I hit up the thrift shops again.  We didn’t find much.  Debbie found some colorful plastic drinking glasses for using on the patio this summer, and I brought home just a handful of things.

I always pick up the glass canisters when I see them at a good price.  I love using them to store my craft supplies.

The fact that you can see what’s in them makes it so much easier to locate the item you need.

I’ve already added a Classic Vintage Label transfer from with prima to the little galvanized bucket.

It’s perfect for a small plant, but also works great for holding paint brushes … if you happen to have a lot of them, which I do.

I’ll be painting the candlesticks eventually, but didn’t get to them in time for this post.

But my favorite find was the mid-mod desk lamp.

It was a little beat up, and the felt bottom had seen better days.  But I checked it at the store and it still worked.  I’m not sure about every Goodwill store, but the one we were at had a strip of outlets near the electrical goods so that you can plug something in to make sure it works.  Handy.

The first thing I did after cleaning the lamp was rip off the grungy old felt bottom and replace it with some new felt.  I simply cut it to fit and stuck it in place with spray adhesive.

Next I wanted to spruce up the gold finish on the lamp just a bit, so I pulled out a selection of metallic waxes to see which one would best match the existing color of the lamp.

The Bronze Age (bottom), which is one of my favorites, was clearly too brown.  The Eternal (middle), also a favorite, was a bit too bright.  But the Vintage Gold (top) was just right.

I used a piece of cloth to apply the wax all over the lamp.  It was pretty much a perfect match, and it helped even out some dings and other imperfections.

If you’ve never used this wax before, I’ll tell you that a little goes a long way.  It comes in a rather small container, but look how much I still have left in mine and I’ve used it on countless projects including this lamp …

I will let the wax cure for a full 30 days before using the lamp just to avoid melting it with the heat from the bulb.

I really wanted to add just a bit of an industrial vibe to the lamp to finish it off, so I pulled out the Everyday Farmhouse transfer from with prima and added a little wording to the base of the lamp.

Adding just a little graphic punch to something always makes me happy.

I’m really loving the mid-mod vibe of this lamp, how about you?

Once the wax is cured and life has gone back to normal, I’m sure I’ll be bringing this one in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell because I don’t have a spot for it myself.

As always, thank you to with prima for providing the Vintage Gold wax and the Everyday Farmhouse transfer used on this project.

If you’re looking for with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

19 thoughts on “the thrift store lamp.

  1. This lamp certainly evokes long-ago memories of my father’s desk! I like the idea of renewing the metallic finish of an item; metallics look so striking with bold colored furniture. As I now seem to have unlimited time in my day, I am casting an eye about for some item to experiment on…


  2. Love the lamp. I think it’s wonderful to recycle items that still have life in them.
    It was 78 here yesterday so I hopped over to the local nursery to purchase flowers for the front porch. I find gardening encourages us to look forward to the future.


    1. Absolutely! And I envy you your warm temps. We have a windchill of 5 degrees here this morning, so probably won’t be planting anything just yet 😉


  3. Oh you found some good pieces! And the glass jars with your craft supplies is something I hadn’t thought of. Going to do that a soon as I can get out into the world but I do have some glass jars thAt are empty in my pantry, good to keep me busy in a pandemic quarantine! Love that you thought to use the metallic wax to spiff up the lamp. You certainly teach us to think outside the box!


    1. I think ‘never’ is a strong word. The wax will harden once cured, plus I used a very thin coat and also did not coat the entire thing … just spots that needed to be cleaned up a bit. So I’m confidant that with normal use this lamp will be fine, but I can’t specifically say that this type of wax will never melt.


  4. I wish I had my Dad’s desk lamp from the 50s & 60s. It looked like yours but was a brownish metallic. You lamp looks really good. Also your bucket.


    1. I suspect that this lamp originally looked like that as well. It had obviously been spray painted gold when I found it. Funny side story, I’ve been watching a show called A Crime to Remember that’s all about old true crimes from the 60’s and earlier. While binge watching it, I’ve noticed that they re-use a lot of the same props in their filming including one of those old desk lamps! It tends to make an appearance in every ‘office’ scene they film.


  5. Love the lamp! The new outfit is perfect!
    Linda, i hope you don’t mind me asking… You mentioned that you sell your creations at Reclaiming Beautiful… How does it work exactly – do you send them a picture first, and then bring it in? Or it’s totally up to you what to bring?
    If you a have a related post, could you please kindly direct me? Selling my stuff has been a dream for a while, but im afraid to make a first step 😦
    Thank you!


    1. Different stores handle things in different ways. Sometimes Reclaiming Beautiful wants to see photos first, and sometimes they want to curate what’s coming in. For example, if they have too many desks then they ask their vendors to hold off on desks for a while. If they don’t have any hutches, they’ll ask vendors to bring those in. If a shop has a specific style, they may only want items that fit with their style. I have heard stories from others that some shops will go so far as to tell their vendors what paint colors they can use (the RB owners do NOT do this). My advice to you is to find several shops that sell the kind of items you create and then just go ahead and reach out to them either in person or online. That’s basically what I did. It helps when you have a blog (as you do) because you can just direct the shop owners to your blog and they can easily check out your work. If you didn’t have a blog, I’d recommend creating a portfolio before contacting shops. My advice is to just go for it Olga! What have you go to lose? It doesn’t hurt to ask.


      1. Thank you so much Linda! It’s very helpful and encouraging!
        And its so true that I have nothing to lose. thanks again!


  6. Ba Bam! All the improvements look great Miss Quandie! Hope you and Mr. Q don’t get on each other’s nerves while you’re “sheltering in place”!


    1. Well, I’m still going in to work at the day job. I work for the city I live in, and it will likely take a ruling from the governor to close City Hall (although we are restricting access to essential business only). Some employees will be able to work from home, and I may be able to get some of my work done from home, but I’ll probably still have to go in to work a bit. Keep in mind that City workers like police, fire, paramedics and sanitation workers have to keep working regardless of the situation. Part of my job is to pay those people, so I will definitely keep working unless I get sick. We do have multiple people cross-trained on those processes, so if I get sick, someone else can take over. Hopefully it won’t come to that.


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