Changing look of lamp

Debbie Sadar
by Debbie Sadar
We have two Stiffel brass lamps we bought in the early 70's. I want to change the look of the base of the lamps without damaging the lamp. Any ideas? I thought about just changing out the shades for a more modern look.
  19 answers
  • DanaH DanaH on Oct 25, 2014
    Most definitely change out the shade and see what think after that.
  • Kim Austin Kim Austin on Oct 25, 2014
    You could wrap twine around it tightly and use hot glue to help secure it. Seen this done. Its awesome!!
  • Jenny Spears Jenny Spears on Oct 26, 2014
    I had a pair of lamps just like that. I painted the base with Emperor's Silk (red) chalk paint and bought new shades!
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 26, 2014
    I could kick myself for getting rid of my EXPENSIVE brass lamps because they were "out of style"! Now I keep what I like and I know is good, to heck with FUSSY TRENDS! Try thinking outside the box! What about a rectangular shade on a conventional lamp? At least try it. Or a colorful oriental one printed with stems and flowers to give a bit of flare? Take one of your lamps with you when you shop.
  • Vph349394 Vph349394 on Oct 26, 2014
    Change the shades and then enhance the base with a floral, ribbon or some sort of decorative acessory to match decor of room you use the lamps. We are hunters so we would use natural pine boughs work tiny pine cones and other natural looking artificial acorns, etc. And attach it with rafia. Whatever, I would NOT paint base.
  • Helenk Helenk on Oct 26, 2014
    Your lamp has very nice lines. You can keep it simple and update it by painting the base a color that compliments your room's decor and adding a new drum shade. Check out Pinterest for inspiration and ideas.
  • Jar535883 Jar535883 on Oct 26, 2014
    I painted the shades with Annie Sloane paint. Now have 2 new lamps. Could paint the bases too.
  • Jar535883 Jar535883 on Oct 26, 2014
    You can paint fabric too!!
  • Katherine Katherine on Oct 26, 2014
    Stiffel lamps are CLASSIC and classy. Update shades and go slowly in deciding on the bases - you want to be able to return them to brass. Adding a classic piece or 2 to your decor keeps the room exciting and timeless.
  • Karen Karen on Oct 26, 2014
    I agree that Stiffel lamps are classic. My suggestion would be to try different lamps shades/color, but do not change color of base. Accepting the lamps with additional decor might do the trick, you could change the decor with the seasons/holidays.
  • PattyV PattyV on Oct 26, 2014
    Since the overall lines of the lamp are round, I would use a drum shade in a woven fabric.
  • Diane Dickinson Diane Dickinson on Oct 26, 2014
    I have the same lamps! They are brass, with a protective seal, so you have to be careful in what you do to them. I just changed the lampshade on mine and it looks great. There are many choices at Lowes and even Target.
  • Pgl Pgl on Oct 26, 2014
    How about adding a clay or china saucer then add a longer shade in a color that pulls it all together.
  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Oct 26, 2014
    Debbie---If you are not used to big changes go slowly! I would consider what else is in the room? Is there any special feature that you would play off of to incorporate to the lamps? Perhaps you might add a small, stained wooden base? Possibly a cord or tassel or beads around "the neck" of the lamp. But most of all I would change to a shade with color! Find a color in the room or the furniture that isn't overwhelming as an option. Just the change of the shade will make you want to do more. Have fun!
  • Darlene Darlene on Oct 26, 2014
    I bought two Stifle lamps at an estate sale. When I got them in good lighting, I discovered someone had tried to polish the brass and ruined the finish. I'm thinking about painting the bases; but would prefer to restore (?) the finish. Any chance I can do that?
  • Carla Haselhorst Carla Haselhorst on Oct 26, 2014
    I too have my parents Stifle lamps, I spray painted the brass base and added new shades, they are very heavy , still a 3 way light and I enjoy knowing that they spent the first 40years aty parents home, now deceased
    comment photo
  • Jane Jane on Aug 14, 2015
    You can often unscrew the base pieces and remove some parts to make the lamp smaller. Many Stiffel lamps have this feature. I collect them and often switch pieces to change the lamps entirely. I would never paint one; the patina is my favorite feature of this brand.
  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Aug 28, 2021

    A fresh coat of spray paint would change the look up.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 11, 2023

    Hi Debbie, there are so many options for different and unique lamp shades you could try. Hope these help!