Saturday, August 4, 2012

Inspired By The Olympics....I've Gone Global

I'll be the first to admit the list of things I love is long...globes are right up there with vintage books and cameras.  I picked this one up at a yard sale; and although it was falling off its frame, I liked the fact it had a frame since I could use the parts for other projects....after all, you can never have too many parts.

This one was made of cardboard so taking it apart was pretty simple.  Loosening it at the seam, one half slid into the other freeing it from the frame.  My first project was pretty obvious; using the northern hemisphere as a lamp shade.

Although it would have been easy to just leave the shade as is, it's always been my personal opinion that adding layers gives a project a richer more finished look.  In this case, I added a coat of Minwax Gel Stain in Walnut to warm up the colors and give the shade a less juvenile look.

A coat of the Gel Stain on the inside of the shade transforms the simple cardboard to a beautiful leather-looking finish and gives the inside of the shade a bit of reflective value.

Now I just need the right lamp.  For those of you who know me, I do a lot of projects with lamps, lamp shades, and various lighting fixture parts so there's usually a few garage sale finds waiting for a project.  After sampling the new shade on every lamp in my workshop, I settled on the little blue ceramic lamp because I liked the size, shape and scale with the shade.  The finish, however, was less than suitable.

 I once heard that anything could be painted if it's properly prepped.  I chose to believe this.  The key is to give the paint "a tooth".  It needs something to grab hold of.  A good cleaning, a little roughing up, a coat of primer and you're good to go.

Here, I've used an iron oxide paint followed by a rust patina and a coat of spray sealer.  Let me know if you're interested and I'll share the details of this finish in a future post.

Being a little OCD, I didn't like the edge of the lamp shade.  There was a little glue residue that didn't take the Gel Stain evenly.  I could have added a decorative trim but decided to give the edge the same metal paint finish as the base for a simpler industrial look.

When reassembling the lamp, I used a recycled harp but decided I still needed the fixture to be a little higher so that the shade hit at just the right spot visually.  I also like everything to have a professionally finished look.  I save all old lighting fixture parts for just this reason.

I found a little round plate and a decorative brass spacer.  After treating both pieces with my rust patina, the plate turned rust and the brass turned a pretty verdigris which coordinated nicely with the shade.  I like to spray all my aged parts with a coat of either matte or semi gloss spray sealer depending on the desired sheen.

To attach the shade, you need a finial.  In this case, I wanted something simple but with a little dimension.  A simple aged brass finial with two rusted discs in graduating sizes were the perfect finishing touch.

When I started this project, I thought I'd be selling it.  But now that it's finished, I sort of like the way it looks sitting on the bureau in the guest room, aka (Michael's room).  Oh well, maybe someday I'll be over it.

Now I just need to dream up something for the southern hemisphere and frame parts...any ideas?


  1. Hmmmm. I'll have to give that some thought? The obvious would be some kind of bowl. An open hand would be a really cool base for it, lol. It seems like so long since I've been able to use the creative part of my brain! I'll use this as a warm-up & let you know what I come up with :)

  2. Genius! I had also thought of the obvious bowl idea but the open hand takes it from boring to brilliant! Now I'm on the hunt for just the right hand... Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

  3. Thanks :) I'll keep an eye out too.

  4. I love what you did using the globe! The lamp is really great!!!

    1. Thank you Loie!!! I always appreciate your feedback and it's nice to see your smiling face! :)

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