Why That Lamp You're Eyeing At An Estate Sale Is Worth A Closer Look

Putting your home's d├ęcor together is arguably one of the most rewarding parts of having your own space. You get to nitpick all the designs that you want and choose what furniture makes the cut. While you can find gorgeous items in catalogs and department stores, some of the most iconic statement pieces you can get your hands on come secondhand from estate sales. One piece guaranteed to elevate any room is a lamp. Lamps are powerful accessories, and you can find some tasteful ones when someone is cleaning out their house and selling off property. However, you should know that, sometimes, that stunning lamp you're eyeing that would look terrific next to your living room sofa could be damaged or faulty.

Finding the perfect lamp at an estate sale is a wonderful stroke of luck. Unfortunately, that luck can quickly take a turn when you get home and plug it in, only to realize that it's not working properly or the shade is crooked or torn. Before you beat yourself up over such a careless decision, you may want to take a step back and see this as an opportunity. Buying a faulty lamp isn't hopeless; It just means you get to put in a little extra work to transform it into the accessory of your dreams. There are many ways to fix that lamp, so get your creative DIY hat on and don't give up on it just yet.

Fabric lampshades are easily fixable

If your lamp works great but has a broken or deformed shade, the first thing you'll have to determine is what material the shade is made of. Fabric lampshades can usually be repaired more easily than those made of harder material. If the inner lining is worn and torn, it can be replaced by cutting out the old lining and sewing in a new one before replacing the trim. The only time you can't replace the lining of your lampshade is if the inner structure is damaged. In that case, a whole new frame is required.

To fix the outer fabric, you will likely have to replace the inner one as well. Use a blade to gently remove the fabric cover and clean the frame. Cut the new fabric and lining to conform to the shape of the frame. Then, stitch the outer fabrics and linings together. Wind some cotton tape around the frame and sew the outer fabric onto the frame first, using pins to make it stretch so there aren't any wrinkles. Do the same for the inner fabric. You'll also have to replace the trim, so find one that matches the design of the lamp. Sew the trim around the ends of the lamp to hide the unsightly fabric stitching.

Hardback lampshades require a complete overhaul

If your new lamp has a damaged hardback shade, then you will have to detach it from the lamp entirely and attach a new cover. To do this, you'll have to remove the rings holding the hardback shade in place. You can either use the old rings and wires with the new shade or throw it all away and get brand-new rings. This way, you get to choose the best lampshade design for your lamp. You will also need to get new trimming to tie the look together. Home Depot has a robust array of hardback lampshades for you to choose from, from drum to empire-style shades. You can go for a plain shade for a minimalist style, or choose a decorative cover to make a bolder statement.

The lamp you get from the estate sale may be in perfect condition on the outside but have faulty wiring. This can occur when the connections in the lamp become loose or disengage completely, leading to burn-outs, flickering lights, and a hot surface. Bad wiring can also cause shocks when you brush against the metal parts of the lamp. Unless you are experienced, you should leave this part of the repair to a licensed electrical professional. Once your lampshade and wiring are all fine-tuned and ready to go, you can finally set up your gorgeous new lamp next to that sofa.