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Vintage Hawaiian Reglor Lamp Restoration



Bernie Stien and Rena Stien began Reglor of California in 1947. Reglor is the combination of the names Rena and her cousin Gloria. Credit for the design inspirations is to be shared with Oscar Vega, a production assistant. Regular lamps were frequently produced as a male and female pair.The distinctive shades of Reglor lamps were also made in house. Production stopped in 1975 when the Reglor factory in Montebello, California burned down. 


Mel and I picked these up some time ago. I was hesitant to buy them because the paint was peeling pretty well on the male dancer. I have seen this condition issue before on chalkware lamps, and it had turned me off from purchasing them in the past. I think this happens from the lamp getting wet and the chalk underneath wicking up the water thus causing the paint to lose grip and peel off.


This restoration will be more difficult than the others because it is going to take more to cover up and level up the surfaces.


This is what the damage looks like. The paint bubbles up from the surface. There are numerous spots on the male lamp and a few on the female lamp.


To help break loose the bubbling paint I used a safety pin to get under the paint and break it off.


The next step was to apply the spackle on the edges where the paint loss was and let it dry.


Once dry I blended the edges into the surrounding area to level out the surface.


I choose seafoam green paint for the main body of the lamps and stuck with the brown color for the exposed body parts.


These are the last of the tropical lamps that needed to be restored.


These will look great in the Tiki Room! On to the next restoration!


10 responses »

  1. What kind of paint do you recommend using? Do you spray paint these are just brush it on?
    I just bought a beautiful chalkware lamp in need of some TLC so I would like to attempt a restoration.


  2. Greg Brabander

    Argh! I can’t believe I didn’t read the first response which asked the same question as I just did. Well, you can delete the question if you would like, I now have my answer. Valspar house paint! And I was just about to go to Lowe’s right now so, perfect!

    Thanks for the answer ๐Ÿ™‚



    • You’re welcome. Thanks for the heads up on the typo!


      • Hello Hep Cat and Kitty!
        ( I just made that up, hope you don’t mind ๐Ÿ˜€ )
        I have another question about Reglor lamps, but this time it is not about restoration.
        The question I have is specific to the version / type / style of Reglor lamp that I own. And that would be a Reglor lamp where both male and female lamps are holding a set of strings running from their hands down to the ground / base of the lamp.
        Question: What are the strings for?
        My lamps look like they are both … possibly Latin dancers? So maybe they’re doing the String Cha-Cha?
        I could go on and on speculating, but I will stop right here because I really have no clue.
        I have not lost any sleep over this but nonetheless would really like to know the purpose of the strings. They no doubt look cool … but what are they there for?

        And whether you know the answer or not, I do appreciate you taking your time to answer my question. Thank you very much.

        Greg B


      • Thanks for your note, Greg. Actually, Mel does go by Hepkitty or Mz. Kitty. We’ve never seen the set you’re referring to. So, we’re not sure what the strings are for. Honestly, we’ve never seen a Reglor that has mixed media in the manner you’re referring to. Is it signed Reglor with the date?


  3. Interesting, you two are not familiar with my Reglor lamps.
    Well, both of my lamps are signed Reglor on the side of their bases. And both lamps are stamped with the date (Oct 25 1951) on the protective felt lining the underside of the bases. And if you were to peel back or remove the felt you would see the date stamped once again on the underside on the chalkware bases.
    One aspect of my lamps that may be somewhat unique is that Reglor lamps are usually painted just two colors. Well, mine are just one color, gold. Except where gold is worn or scraped off, the primer or base color underneath appears to be that typical ’50s teal color, similar if not exactly like the background of this web page. And some areas of the lamps look like it may have been intentional that gold would wear away revealing the teal … but that is pure speculation on my part. I really can’t say for sure.
    I do not see an option for attachments so the next best thing would be to take a look at this:

    This is only the female version of my lamp. The male in basically the same pose, same kind of strings. What gets me is this person has been trying to sell this lamp for a loooong time and I’m pretty sure the price has not budged. It looks to be the original shade, but still, $535 + almost another $50 shipping just for one lamp? And not in perfect condition either. Gooood luck to them!
    And it is the female of mine that needed repair. Mine was broken pretty much exactly like the one you repaired, broken at the waist. And speaking of brokwn the same way, I also have the green / blue bi-morphic (I think that is the word for it) Plasto lamp that has near identical breaks like the one you repaired. I have yet to take a crack at mine. One day for sure though.

    So, any thoughts on the strings?
    String Cha-Cha?
    I will stop right there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Greg B


  4. Hey guys, awhile back I left the above message but never got a response. And I am wondering if it is because I used a different username then before. The previous messages from Greg Brabander and Greg B were left by me, but also the message from middleclassic, which is another username I use from time to time.
    Anyway, I was hoping you would take a look at the Reglor lamp in the eBay link I sent as middleclassic, which is this link:
    This is not my lamp, but I own an identical one, along with the male counterpart. And both lamps have the strings that they are holding. I still have no idea what the strings are for or supposed to represent and was hoping you might be able to shed some light on something that has been bugging me for wayyyy too long.
    As always, love your website!
    I look forward to your response ๐Ÿ™‚





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