Lampshade Repair And Restoration Processes To Customize A Set Of Antique Lamps

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If you purchased a set of antique lamps from an estate sale, minor imperfections may prevent you from showcasing the lamps right away. Paper and fabric lampshades can become discolored and damaged. Some assessment, cleaning, and repair steps can help you transform the shades into custom ones.

Shade Products

Many vintage lampshades are constructed of paper or fabric. A metal framework is typically used to attach the framework of a shade to a lamp. A shade product may contain rough or smooth edges, painted designs, or stitchery. A bleached or unbleached paper product may have been used to construct an original shade. A non-bleached product will possess a slightly off-white color.

A handcrafted or machine-made shade may have been dyed during the manufacturing process. Before beginning the upgrades to the shades, assess paper shades for holes, signs of discoloration, and distress. Inspect fabric shades for loose stitchery, holes, and staining. If shades are intact, they may only need to be cleaned. A dry, lint-free cloth can be used to remove dust.

Water and detergent should not be applied to a paper shade. A paper shade that is discolored can be dyed by a professional who restores vintage lamps. If the paper is damaged, a mulberry paper product can be used to replace the original paper. This type of paper contains wispy fibers and possesses a slightly textured surface. A paper shade can be dyed or have painted designs added to it.

Other Repairs

Fabric shades can be cleaned with gentle detergent and a soft cloth. If any stitchery that is on a fabric shade has become loose, new embroidery floss or thread can be used to hand-sew areas that may be in need of repair. The framework that comprises a shade could have become tarnished or bent over time. A lamp restoration professional can clean tarnished metal and bend pieces into their original shape.

Hand tools may be used to gently manipulate metal that is misshapen. If metal pieces contain gouges or kinks that will prevent them from having a symmetrical shape, a repair person may suggest that the frame pieces are swapped out for replacement ones. Many modern lamp manufacturers sell metal framework pieces that are comparable to the ones used to make vintage lamps. A professional who upgrades custom lamp shades can add trim, painted design, or other custom features that will make the shades look brand new.