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Reglor Chalkware Lamp Restoration- Heart Break and Rebirth

Melody and I had won a couple of lamp sets on Ebay that we had been trying to hunt down for sometime. Unfortunately when we received them they were in really bad shape. The green jester set was packed soo poorly and was busted beyond repair. I was able to file a claim and got our money back on that set but the issue wasn’t the money….it’s the idea that this fantastic set is now history and all it had survived from its birth counts for nothing because someone did not take the right amount of care to prevents its demise. Here is what arrived…

It broke my heart when I pulled these out of the box and there was more chalkware in the box than on the lamps.

The male figure appears to have gotten the brunt of the damage. I ended up just throwing these in the trash and that was hard to do for me. As you all know I restore things, but I couldn’t see any way to bring these back.

The next set that arrived damaged was the famous Reglor bullfighter lamps. These were going to be paired with our bullfighter Carlo’s. Unfortunately they would need repair first. Here is how they arrived…

The female bullfighter had a busted neck, waist and a large portion of her cape was broken off. The only damage to the male bullfighter was a busted neck.

To repair both of these lamps I used the same process that I blogged about earlier on the fairy lamp. Anyways after a few days of working on them and repainting them here is how they turned out.

They glow now.

It is amazing what stucco and glue can do.

His neck looks great!

These have been saved from the scrap heap. I am so glad they were able to be salvaged and will look great next to our Carlos.

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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.

HOW TO: Applying Wood Veneer

Dont let it intimidate you!

I know from antiquing all the time you come across a lot of great wood pieces that have water damage or chipped veneer. This will usually turn off most collectors/buyers but don’t let it intimidate you. If something catches your eye you should really consider buying it and repairing the surface. The surface damage actually gives you the power to haggle more and get the piece for very cheap in some cases.

Depending on the kind of wood veneer you buy it can be relatively cheap to expensive. There are a vast array of woods to choose from and the grains can blow your mind. Usually the more exotic wood veneers have to be special ordered through a specialty wood dealer. I don’t think you will find veneer at Lowes or Home Depot but I could be wrong. I purchased a 4×8 sheet of Teak veneer (around $200, but I have a lot left over for other projects) from a dealer in Sacramento California to restore the surface of my Seeburg Jukebox pictured below. The original surface of the veneer on this cabinet was not in the best shape.

Keep in mind that the veneer was not this color. I stained it to make it look richer but you could just oil it as well.

Something to remember is that you always want to cut the veneer to overhang the piece of wood you are applying it to. This gives you room for error in case it does not line up appropriately. The surfaces that you are going to apply the glue to need to be completely free of debris otherwise you will see it when the two pieces are glued together. Here are a few things to use to help complete the job:

Remember you have to apply this to the back of the veneer and the surface you are applying it to. Also, you can use just a regular brush to apply the glue to the surfaces.

If you don’t have a router with a veneer trimming bit this is a low cost option. It has a razor that when slid on the edge of the piece you are veneering cuts off the excess.

I have this same roller. This will help to push out any air bubbles that get trapped during application of the veneer. I prefer this tool as opposed to using a flat piece of wood because the wood could mar the surface.

Here is a video from DIY to show how simple it is to veneer something and trust me it really isn’t difficult.

Idaho Motel Sign Project…

Mel and I were driving down Hwy 16 and we looked over at this small business and there we saw the most beautiful thing…..a 1940’s motel sign. The sign was sitting against a fence and had been ignored for a long while. We approached the business owner and asked if he would sell it. We agreed on a price and it was delivered. I really love the colors and the style. The original neon is gone but that is ok. I plan to refinish both sides and use it as a room divider. This will take some time but I will show you my progress as I go along. This is going to be KILLER! What we were told is a downtown Holiday Inn had purchased the sign and modified it with its name plate and the arrow. Once I removed the name plate we discovered the sign was actually for the Idaho Motel that was in El Cerrito. Here are some pictures of the sign now, enjoy.

Click Images to Enlarge

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