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furnishings first-aid: 
ow to fix-UP a $1 Lamp |
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continued from page 1

Below, a step-by-step guide thatíll show you how we turned our dingy-looking dollar light into a sleek, stylishly retro lamp. With this lamp, the cosmetic deficiencies Ė general ugliness of color Ė could be easily remedied by changing the cord and painting the spherical metal shade. Amazingly enough, our one dollar lamp actually worked, but since the cord looked ancient, Iíd have changed it regardless of whether or not I liked the color.

the toolkit |
extension cord
wire strippers (or at least a Swiss army knife, should you lack the former, as we did)
tin snips (or scissors that you donít mind dulling, Swiss Army knife, razor knife Ö in other words something sharp that can cut through the extension cord)

our plan-of-action |

1. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the socket in place within the lampshade.

2. Pull the socket through the shade; youíll need easy access to the bottom of the socket, where the wires of the cord connect to the terminals. Using a screwdriver, loosen the screws and detach the wires from the socket. If your lamp isnít turning on, and the cord isnít obviously damaged in some way (i.e. itís frayed; you have to wiggle it around into just the right position to get the bulb to stay lit), your socket probably needs to be replaced. Take the old socket on down to your favorite local hardware store, and look for a new socket thatís of the same style. If youíve got a hardware-store phobia and canít make any sense of the many lamp parts youíll find in the lighting aisle, ask a friendly sales clerk where you can find a replacement for that socket youíve got in your hand.

3. Spraypaint the lampshade. Do this outside, if at all possible, since the fumes arenít so fabulous for the health, and the paint will dry faster in the sunshine. Spray in long, thin, even strokes, holding the can at least 6-8 inches away from the lampshade. Let the first coat dry; apply one or two other coats as necessary.

more this way  

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