I don’t. I don’t do antiques. Usually. I’m just not informed enough on what’s what. But let’s face it, there’s a fine line between antiques, vintage and just plain junk in some of these shops today. Unless you are up on the latest antique news, you can easily be lost amongst the dust.
That’s why I try to be a responsible thrifter. What does that mean? Well, it means I usually stay away from places that are truly ANTIQUE SHOPS (which is easy, because as you know I’m cheap) and if I do find something at a thrift or junk shop that I think might be worth something, I try to surf the web-o-sphere and see if I’m going to ruin it’s value or not.
And that’s what happened with this beauty of a vintage cast iron floor lamp. (A bridge lamp is its formal name – I have since discovered.)
Last Saturday, hubby and I went to an outdoor flea market in the parking lot of a place that usually deals in antiques. When we found nothing outside, we went in. I do like this place but I still tread carefully. I don’t want to overpay nor do I want to get into something I know nothing about.
While we were there, I saw this lamp. And immediately knew what I would do with it. And then walked away from it. Yes, I know – stupid. But it was too much money just to mess around with!!
It only took about 24 hours for me to go back for it (I was lucky it was there!) and determine it was going to be part of a gift for my mom’s birthday. Aha! Price of approx. $40 was justified!
My intent was to make it into a lantern stand for outside on her patio. (Citronella being required to sit out there at night) And I’ll admit – I was totally going to paint it. But then I surfed.
You can see where this is headed. Yes, IF the lamp is authentic (before 1920’s?) and IF that’s the original paint job – it could be worth something reasonable. If it was still wired or rewired it could be worth something more. Either way, it was worth something more than I was willing to spray paint.
Being the responsible person I am and knowing my mom would prefer it original if it IS from that time period – I just couldn’t paint it. I also didn’t want to wire it so my options were limited.
However, what I COULD paint was the lantern-like-cage I purchased from Ross for $9. (I KNOW. ANOTHER DANG BIRDCAGE BUT LET’S PRETEND IT ISN’T ONE OK?)
Not bad for an afternoon in the garage with spray paint huh? (Antique Gold) Once it was dry, I also sanded it to give it a vintage feel and put a UV protecting clear coat on it. It doesn’t match perfectly but I have to say I’m pretty pleased with it. It’s probably as close as I can get.
I staged it with some candles for you all. I intend to give it to my mom with some citronella ones.
You could probably hang all kinds of things from it – within reason since the base is sort of small. (I’m going to try to weight it down a little.) A plant, an ornament or a basket…you get the idea!
Now I have my eye out at thrift for a cheap standing lamp that I CAN take apart and paint. I’m dying to make a more contemporary one of these for my back patio. I figure that’ll be a fun experiment for another time!