One day, not so long ago, I was wandering around a thrift store, which is something that I never, ever do- I’m just not one of those fabulous people who locate secret treasure because, frankly, I don’t have the patience to sift through things for hours on end. But I had some time between calling in my Chinese takeout order and actually picking it up, so I ended up in a thrift store. I was the type of hungry when you’re very easily influenced, so when the clerk told me that lamps were an extra 50% off that day, I immediately gravitated to the lamp section. Ten minutes later I walked out the door, $4 poorer but richer by one brass pineapple lamp with a terrible yellow cord.
After I finished eating, I realized how hideous the lamp was (and surprisingly heavy!) but I still kind of liked the pineapple shaped base. The lamp wasn’t functional, however, so if I wanted to use it as anything other than an interesting piece of art, I knew that a trip to the hardware store was in order. I was a bit intimidated at the idea of rewiring my lamp, but was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it is! Here’s what I did:
First, I unplugged the lamp and gathered some supplies. I got a new cord (clear, 12 feet) and a three-way socket (I like the lighting options) from the hardware store. I also grabbed some gold spray paint, because that brass was a bit much for me. Since my lamp didn’t come with a shade, I picked up a new one at Target. Then, I assembled my tools (screw driver and pliers) and got to work.
Then I disassembled my lamp. There’s a convenient ‘press’ marker on the shell- when you press there, it’s easy to remove the shell from the socket.
Once the wires were detached from the socket, all I had to do was pull the old yellow wires out through the whole in the back. This is when I spray painted my base, so I didn’t have to worry about protecting the wires or the socket. Then I used a razor blade to remove the felt circle on the bottom, so that I could feed the new (clear) wires back through the neck of the lamp.
I fed the wire through the neck of the lamp and the socket cap, and then tightened the screw on the neck so the socket cap was secured to the lamp. I tied the two wires in an underwriters knot, as instructed by the directions that came with the new socket.
Next, I used my pliers to strip a bit of the insulation from each wire, and bent each into a partial circle. I looped the wires around each screw on the socket, per the included instructions, and then tightened each screw down to secure the wires.
I added the lamp shade, screwed in the bulb and plugged it in. Full disclosure- the first time I tried to turn the lamp on, it didn’t work and I was heartbroken. I was sure that I had made an error with the electrical portion! Fortunately, though, I was able to diagnose the problem as a faulty bulb- I next bulb I put it in worked perfectly. So now we have this kind of awesome lamp, and I feel like an electrical ninja- success!