Help! Love the light, but it has problems!

Lori Choman
by Lori Choman
I love the shape of this light, but I can't find shades for it. I'm not in love with the wood, so painting it is fine, What can I do to make me totally love it? I've thought about turning the three upward facing lights down.
q help love the light but it has problems, diy, lighting, Three lights up 1 down
Three lights up, 1 down
q help love the light but it has problems, diy, lighting, This is the room it s in a dining room with built in banquette red blue gold tan
This is the room it's in, a dining room with built in banquette, red, blue, gold/tan.
q help love the light but it has problems, diy, lighting, Three clips around the light hold the shade in place
Three clips around the light hold the shade in place
q help love the light but it has problems, diy, lighting, this is one of the clips They aren t strong at all I don t mind replacing them
this is one of the clips. They aren't strong at all. I don't mind replacing them.
  30 answers
  • Sherrie Sherrie on May 29, 2013
    I would paint it depending on the color you like then I would change out the bulbs and put glass shades on it....see through glass. And there are many places on line to order unusual glass votives.

  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on May 29, 2013
    Not knowing your style makes it sorta hard to give advice. However, you probably need to think out of the box for shades since you state you have had problems finding shades. You could use mason jars, drinking glasses, or cut down wine bottles as shades. The light is definitely not one I have seen so I like the fact that it isn't in every home. You could also put a drum shade over it but that would hide a lot of the actual light fixture.

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on May 29, 2013
    Hi Sherrie, I can't find glass shade or shades to fit it anywhere. I've looked in thrift shops, online and everywhere. The size and shape is strange. Let me see if I can add some more pictures. Kimberly, Let me see if I can add a picture of the room it's in.

  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on May 29, 2013
    It would appear to me that the light was designed for the shades to fit on the clips. That would make the shade have to be wider. Maybe you could remove the clips and find a shade that would sit on the wooden surround portion of the light. As I didn't see the clips in the first post, that was what I was considering when I mentioned mason jars, cut wine bottles or drinking glasses for the shade. All of these selections would be translucent and could be in a variety of colors. From looking at the room, I see the photograph of the guitar player and don't particularly see mason jars as your design style. You could attempt to find a few clear cyclinder flower vases to use as shades or moreless a cover. If you couldn't find a glass or vase that would work, you could make your own shade covers using radiator screen covers cut to size and rounded. They have different designs. As for painting it, I would spray paint the entire fixture including the brass and covers if you choose to go with the radiator cover idea. Otherwise, I wouldn't paint it since the wood tone is repeated in your window trim.

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on May 29, 2013
    Oh I like those ideas! Thanks! I should have taken a picture of that whole wall. It's kinda a shrine to music (and Keith Urban). My husband is a musician. There is a big art piece in the middle with musical instruments and the one picture you could see of Keith Urban, on the other side is a picture the same size of my husband and I and Keith Urban. The table that's in there now is not the table that is supposed to be in there. I'm having to do some work on it, but it's a modified farmhouse style table (planks) in an odd shape to fit in the banquette. As for the wood trim on the window, if I had my way it would be gone. I'm more of a modern funky style type person. If you look at the other things I've posted you can get a better feel for my style. This room is an extension of my kitchen and it's more modern than anything. White upper cabinets, red lower with black patterned counter tops and an aluminum back splash. I like the idea of the vase. I could paint designs on them. I'm leaning toward painting the light fixture black. I really don't like the wood. I was one of those kids that grew up with wood paneling in every room and grew to hate it. Wood on the walls, wood on the floor, wood furniture. I think if my parents could have found a way to have wood glasses, plates and pots they would have!

  • Jeanette Jeanette on May 29, 2013
    Another option would be to replace the spiral bulbs with more traditionally shaped ones and add clip-on shades. Clip-on shades are easy to find, and relatively cheap. Your fixture is from the 1970s, and lends itself to a rustic/country look. I googled 'rustic shades', and this is what I found...

    • Barbara R Barbara R on Feb 11, 2014
      @Jeanette I think you have the right idea...change the bulbs, get the clip-on shades...I would!

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on May 29, 2013
    Ahhh it is from the 70's! I couldn't place what era it was from I just loved the funky shape! With the more traditional bulb going out of production I wanted to stay away from them which is why I've not gone with the clip on shades...yet. I may have to before it's over and just stock up on the traditional bulbs.

  • Jeanette Jeanette on May 29, 2013
    You can purchase the new florescent bulbs in a traditional shape. Wal Mart has them.

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on May 29, 2013
    @Lori Choman consider changing your bulb choice to one like this (comes in various wattage strengths to fit a regular socket) - I use these in my dining room and was able to find mini shades (which fit perfectly on the bulb) from Walmart for a reasonable price. Decide if you are painting and what colour, then look for shades that will compliment the piece. Thanks for posting and please update with a pic :)

  • Niki Hart Niki Hart on May 30, 2013
    I think I would paint it a metalic color, and put in those new bulbs that look like industrial lights and forget about shades, for an industrial look.

  • Rena Rena on May 30, 2013
    Didn't this lamp come with the matching cylinder frosted glass shades? I've seen this lamp with the top matching the bottom wood, only in a frosted white glass. Check with your lighting store and they can help order what you need. It is a 60's type Modern light.

  • Jill Jill on May 30, 2013
    We used to have that exact lamp! It had round frosted glass globes that fit over the upward lights and the light in the bottom was kind of like a spot light, using a curio bulb that was flat on the top or bottom as the case would be. My mom wasn't into it and my dad finally got rid of it, but if you are going to keep it, paint it and have fun. You can usually find the lamp pieces in specialized lamp stores or electrical stores that deal in restoration. If you can't find one in your area or have no idea where to go, ask at some place like lamps plus. They will steer you to someone who carries old parts and rebuilds them if they can't get you the pieces. In the least I would have the lamp rewired as in time things do start to cause problems and the last thing you need is an electrical fire.

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on May 30, 2013
    Rena, I have no idea what it originally came husband found it in a thrift store for $5 and knew I would love the shape. I've searched high and low and can't find another one like it anywhere.

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on May 30, 2013
    Jill, thanks so much for the insight of the light! I rewired it before we hung it because I had no idea how old it was and the condition of the wiring. (Safety first, especially with kids in the house). It's funny, I've taken pictures of this thing everywhere and no one around Atlanta has seen one before. They all agree, it's cool and funky, but they've never seen one.

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on May 30, 2013
    Niki Hart, I like the industrial look! That might work! That's kinda the look I have going in the kitchen!

  • Michelle Sloan Michelle Sloan on May 30, 2013
    Lori, you can try making your own shades with embroidery hoops, metal hoops (plumbing), etc. and velum paper, etc. here is a link to one example, I am sure there are many more.

  • Leah M Leah M on May 30, 2013
    They do make compact florescents without the curly blub. They aren't the easiest to find, and you might have to go with something weird like those round bathroom lights or the flame shaped ones.

  • Wanda Wanda on May 31, 2013
    it would look awesome spray painted with traditional shaped light bulbs.

  • Cindy tustin Cindy tustin on May 31, 2013
    My first thought was could I put jar rings down over and attach to wood then screw a mason jar over bulbs.

  • Norrie Downey Norrie Downey on May 31, 2013
    You might try putting a globe or a bell shaped glass shade over it. It may mean you need to put screws in in the metal part to hold them in place. Choose either white or amber color to help diffuse the light.

  • Belle Belle on May 31, 2013
    Clip on shades should work with the flourescent bulbs that are shaped like regular light bulbs. And, actually, they ought to work with the spiral flourescent ones you have. Cindy, thats what I was thinking too...and you can use glass stain to paint the jars whatever color you want.

  • Pete Sakes Pete Sakes on May 31, 2013
    I'm with Cindy tustin, screw or glue (super strong glue that can handle heat from the bulbs) some canning rings onto the wooden portion, either wide mouth or regular, lots of jars fit those types of rings. Ditch the clips. Sand it a bit and paint whatever color floats your boat! Before buying jars be sure to measure how tall they need to be, if you're luck is like mine you'd get them home and they won't fit over the bulb or they wouldn't be long enough.

  • Bridget Bridget on May 31, 2013
    I would go to mackenzie-childs website for inspiration and go to town with paint ,stamps etc,

  • Gabriele Gross Gabriele Gross on May 31, 2013
    What about : take off the clips, replace the bulbs with a candle-looking bulb. Paint the lamp one color and the bulb holder maybe in a dark/black paint.

  • Heather Heather on Jun 03, 2013
    I love the funky style of things so I really like this light I myself would paint it white and distress it with a turquoise color then I would go to lowes or what ever hardware store u have and find some of the small metal wash pails that would rest on the clips take them out side and shot em with some buck shot and give them a white wash so you can still see the metal it would look amazing if you like the funky interior style ;)

  • Toshy Toshy on Jun 04, 2013
    I would probably suggest painting the frame white or silver metallic/chrome. Then use some heavy weight translucent paper or acetate sheeting (e.g. ) I'd then form up a tube and glue it straight to the wooden light base - no additional brackets required - with an asymmetrical twist to the top maybe?

  • Lori Choman Lori Choman on Jun 07, 2013
    Thanks for all the help on this! You have inspired me and given me some great options. I'm going to have my husband replace it with another light this weekend so I can redo it and make it fit into the room much better! A paint job is the first order of business!

  • Lyne Desrosiers Lyne Desrosiers on Feb 11, 2014
    maybe try a mason jar on it smaller version and put glass paint on it

  • Carol S Carol S on Feb 15, 2014
    I like your idea of turning the socket fixtures up side down. I am not big on painting real wood, though. If you do turn them try getting glode efficiency bulbs. I did that with my 1950's bath room wall scants & love how it looked.

  • Margaret Adamski Margaret Adamski on Oct 24, 2015
    Try small shade over the bulb and see if you could paint this funky light? Black or White? match in whenever you like match with kitchen color. My english is not good.