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Tag Archives: chalkware lamp repair

1951 Male Reglor Bullfighter Lamp Take Two

1951 Male Reglor Bullfighter Lamp Take Two

Recently, I decided to replace the light bulb sockets and harps on our Reglor bullfighter lamps. When we originally purchased these lamps, they arrived busted. Fortunately, I was able to restore them. Sometimes, when you restore chalkware lamps that have significant damage, there are hidden weak spots under the surface. When I tried to attach the new bulb socket, the head of the male bullfighter lamp cracked into several pieces. Needless to say, I was completely devastated. For those of you who have restored these lamps might know, it’s a tedious process. Hours of my work literally crumbled in my hands. To make matters worse, upon further examination it appeared that I would be unable to repair the damage.

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Once I came to grips with what had happened, I jumped on eBay and was able to purchase a replacement male bullfighter lamp. Fortunately, the seller did not live too far away, and we were able to meet up to pick up the lamp. It’s not often that you can find a same day replacement for a vintage lamp!

Unpainted Reglor

That’s not dirt you see, that’s nicotine. You wouldn’t believe how much came off.

The color scheme of the original lamps was orange and brown. These were colors we were never keen on. The lamp we just picked up needed to be repainted, so I took the opportunity to go with a whole new color scheme. The colors I went with are vintage coral and hematite (a graphite color). I think these two colors compliment one another very well.

Reglor Lamps

After about a full day of painting, here is the result.

Reglor Lamp

I decided to add a little more detail to the lamp.

Of course, these aren’t the original lamp shades and we’re not really happy with them. We plan to replace the shades with ones that incorporate the same colors as the lamps.

Reglor Bullfighter Lamp

Here’s the female bullfighter.

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This pair compliments our bedroom nicely.

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Bo-Low Leopard Lamp Restoration

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Mel and I picked up this Bo-Low lamp sometime back. We had been admiring it for a while at a local antique shop and were finally able to acquire it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out anything about the Bo-Low Lamp Co.

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As you can see, it looks like it traveled around a bit. It also had a chunk of chalk missing from a part of the top of the tree.

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I used my usual process to repair it.

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The next step was to paint the whole cat a cream color to help even out it’s finish, and so that the new color would take better.

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I then applied the main undercoat.

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As you can see from this photo, this cat had no real detail and was almost a cream color.

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Here is the same head shot after I added detail and color.

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Painting the leopard spots are fairly simple. Just make misshapen marks like I did above.

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The next step is to apply a small amount of black around parts of the brown to create the tradition leopard spot.

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Here is the original.

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Here it is after I refinished it.

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The original base was just tan so I added a grass effect to the bottom so it would tie in with its awesome shade.

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It’s coming along as you can see, just the tail left to complete.

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Just adding some finishing touches.

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Ta Da! Here it is all done!

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We have had this shade sitting around for sometime, and this seems like the perfect shade for this lamp.

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I am very happy with how it turned out.

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1951 Reglor Fish Lamp Restoration

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This lamp will look fantastic once done. It even has the glass panel that sits in the holder.

Mel and I reached out to a seller on Ebay that had put this lamp on sale many times without any takers (this is a good technique to use with Ebay sellers when they have an item that isn’t selling, usually you can get the item for less). Anyways, the lamp was not in a color that worked with our color palette so we changed it up to match the other Reglor fish lamp I restored earlier.

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This is the one already restored and in our bathroom.

We decided to paint it in a similar color scheme so they match the shades and look like they go together. Fish stuff from this time period always seem collectible.

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This lamp was in pretty good shape but it had some chips and some paint loss……but no CRACKS!!! Yay!!!

After a good cleaning and a few hours of painting it turned out great! We are soo glad that this restoration is complete.

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I also needed to replace the lamp harp and the light bulb socket.

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These look great together and will serve us well for years to come.

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Weinberg Horse Lamp Repair

Here’s the lamp Stephen received after being assured it would be packed very well.

Stephen asked us to repair this rare Horse Weinberg lamp that he had been searching for. If you get a chance, check out his eBay store as he has a lot of really cool items. He was devastated when he opened the box and found that the base was broken. We know his pain all too well as we’ve received many chalkware/plaster lamps shipped to us broken/damaged. Unfortunately, we’re currently dealing with an issue with a cracked pair of Continental Art Company Trillium Flower lamps we purchased on eBay similar to the one we repaired for Camila and Matt.

Oh No!

The lamp is actually made of a terracotta type material. I was able to use the same technique I use to repair chalkware/plaster lamps. However, the material is very porous so I had to use a gel glue that wasn’t quickly absorbed into the lamp. I allowed a couple days for the glue to dry before I filled the break.

Base filled after a few days of drying in the sun.

The most difficult part of any lamp repair is the re-painting. It is very difficult to find an exact color match, especially with black. The slightest difference in the color sticks out like a sore thumb. It is amazing how many different variations of black there is, but we were able to find a pretty spot on match. What also made this repair especially difficult was trying to find an effective technique to duplicate the greyish striated design of the lamp. Mel typically does the detail work on the repairs and I think she did a great job duplicating the the design.

Base after filling and sanding.

It is really important to look at your pieces in different lighting. Take your piece outside in the sun, etc. to make sure the paint has full coverage of the piece.

Close up of repair.

Finished piece!

Hawaiian Chalkware Lamps & Rewire

Mel and I picked these up at a local antique store and knew they would look fantastic in our Tiki room. As you can see from the before photo they were really dusty and needed some freshening up. Per my previous posts you know that I love to re-finish old lamps. These needed to be cleaned and repainted. I took a little creative license when it came to the repaint and I think they turned out great! Here is how they turned out:

Here she is. We were able to get these venetian shades but they were lime green and I knew that would look too strange so I painted them to match.

Here is the hula man. They both turned out well.

I even added facial features such as eyes, eyebrows and lips. When you redo a lamp don’t be afraid to add your own twist.

After both of these were re-finished I wasn’t comfortable with the “burn down my house” cord that was still attached to both. I decided to run over to Lowes to pick up a couple of lamp rewire kits so I would not have any worries when using these.

Required items: 1 faulty wired lamp, 1 rewire kit, cross tip and flat tip screwdriver & wire strippers/side cutters.

The first step is to dismantle the existing light assembly. I always recommend that you hang onto all pieces of the old lamp till you are done. These rewire kits you purchase are generic and sometimes the hardware doesn’t work with your lamp so you may have to reuse some of the cosmetic pieces.

Remove lamp harp, light bulb sleeve and shroud.

Next you need to disconnect the two wires connected to the light assembly.

Remove the rest of the hardware from the upper part of the lamp. Leaving just the wires sticking out of the top.

The next part is to cut the plug portion of the old cord off and push it through the base of the lamp so it can be pulled through the top of the lamp later. Now take the new cord and feed it through the base of the lamp (once the new cord is though the base tie a knot in the cord but make sure it’s loose so you can adjust it later) and twist the ends of the new cord together with the old cord. This will allow you to pull the new cord through the lamp when you pull the old cord out through the top. It is important that when you try to pull the new cord through the lamp that as you pull on the old cord you are pushing on the new cord.

Here you can see the new wire pulled through the lamp. Once you give yourself a little slack on top adjust the knot on the bottom to be tight against the base. The knot prevents the wire from getting pulled out if someone tugs on the cord.

I had to use the old base hardware but I was able to replace the harp holder and lower bowl for the bulb.

The next step is to re-attach the wires to the light assembly, slide cardboard insert over light assembly and then the metal sleeve and push the whole assembly into the light assembly bowl till it feels secure, it should lock/snap into place. Install the new harp and attach the lampshade and screw on the finial and you are all done. You just rewired a lamp! Not too hard huh?

Now I don’t have to keep the fire extinguisher handy when these are on.

Continental Art Company: Trillium Chalkware Lamp Restoration

Camila bled for her lovely lamp! Way to go!

Mel and I were approached by our friends Camila and Matt to repair their busted up Continental Art Company lamp. Ok, here is the story with this lamp…Camila saw a lamp just like this one but with different colors. She could not get that lamp out of her head so Camila made the ultimate sign of love……she got a tattoo of it on her forearm. A couple weeks later good fortune smiled upon Camila when she saw it online for sale for next to nothing. It had been broken in half, glued back together, and had lots of chalkware busted out and missing. I felt really good knowing Camila trusted me enough to fix her fantastic lamp. This lamp is so cool it will be hard to give it back. Mel and I debated on going into hiding to keep it…We could send pictures of it to them along its adventures (kind of like that gnome guy). But, anybody who loved this lamp enough to get a tattoo of it would track me down, steal my life, and take the lamp back. Thus, leaving Mel a widow.

Anyways, here is what we were dealing with when I got the lamp…

Here is the front with areas marked that need attention.

As you can see the back of the lamp appears to have taken a lot of damage.

The first thing to do was to fill all the cracks and areas that had missing material with spackle.

Here is the damage around the switch filled in.

After the DAP spackling dried I sanded it down and painted it.

After all the damage was filled and sanded I started to repaint the whole lamp. I used a semi gloss Valspar house paint. Mel and I shot over to Lowes to match the colors so we could make this lamp look like we didn’t change anything.

As you can see even with a complete repaint (yes, the entire lamp was repainted, everything) this lamp looks just like new and original. Mel even helped with some of the detail work!

As you can see the back of this lamp looks perfect and who could tell this lamp had previous damage?

Mel and I love the way the lamp turned out. I hope Camila and Matt love it too!

Here’s the final piece!

Chalkware Lamp Restoration-Continental Art Company Fairy

WHY!!!! Broken but not dead.

I thought I’d blog about how to fix a chalkware lamp. These lamps are also known as plaster lamps. I came across this at my friend Franks house. He received it from a friend of his but as you can see it had a major break to the base. I wasn’t sure I could fix it but I thought I would give it a try. I asked Frank if I could purchase it and he said “sure can” so I went home to start work.

Wow, it’s really bad looking isn’t it? Maybe if it faces the wall no one will notice.

The first thing that had to be done was glue the broken pieces back to the body of the lamp. I debated between a few different adhesives such as silicone, JB Weld or rubber cement. I though about the flexibility those adhesives have which would eventually cause the fix to fail. Then I remembered “Gorilla Glue“. This stuff is crazy good when gluing things together.

Glue of the Gods!

Once I managed to get the cap off the glue tube (they stick sometimes after use).  I started to glue the shards back to the lamp. You only need to hold the pieces in place for 30 seconds and they will hold. I wanted to make sure it dried so I let it sit for and hour before I started sanding.

Glue is holding like a champ!

I wanted to sand before I applied the filler to level out the surfaces.

The next step was to fill the gaps left from the pieces that were missing. I wasn’t sure what to use but then I remembered that  “DAP Spackling” was a chalky substance and would fill the gaps perfectly. This stuff is usually used to patch holes on walls but I had confidence it would work.

I applied that spackling in small amounts till I had all the gaps plugged.

Once all the gaps were filled I had to wait 4 hours before sanding or painting. I placed it out in the sun to help expedite the drying time. Once I got it into the light I realized that the fairy was very faded and I decided at that point I would have to paint it as well.

Catching some rays.

Once it was completely dry I sanded off the excess spackling. You want to sand it enough to when your finger slides over the surface it feels like there is no crack. Paint shows all faults so if this isn’t sanded completely flush it will show, trust me.

Smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Now time for the paint. I swung into Lowes and had some paint mixed. I ended up purchasing BEHR eggshell “Mountain Ridge” house paint. I would of tried to spray paint but that would be hard to control.

I had to paint the fairy and the base the same color. the cream color would of been very hard to duplicate because it had a spackled finish.

As you can see from the paint I am applying how faded the fairy was.

Once it was all painted it just needed to dry. House paint is kind of funny because you think you have a good coat and later you will find some spots that need touch up. As it sits now it looks great but maybe tomorrow I might have to do some touch up. So without further adieu here she is!

Where is the crack?! It’s gone!

I am very pleased with its repair and restoration. I will now have to shoot over to Meteor Lights to order a shade for it.

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