Vintage Milk Glass Lamps

Happy New Year's Eve everybody!

Last week, while we were down at my parents' river house, my mom and I decided to pop into a local consignment shop in one of the tiny towns nearby. Being the frugal shopper that I am, I was torn between looking for a good deal and telling myself I did not need to spend any money. (You know, since Christmas shopping just took a nice hit on the ole wallet.) Then, in a corner full of other junk, I came across these awesome vintage milk glass lamps. They beckoned me to come take a closer look at them. Have you ever had that happen? (Or am I just a crazy person?)

I was intrigued enough to check and make sure they worked, which they do, which was good. :) They're in near perfect condition - no chips, scratches, etc. I knew we didn't have room for them in our apartment - boo. If there's one thing we have an excess of, it's lamps. If I bought them, we couldn't keep them, so I left the store empty-handed.

But I kept thinking about them, so a couple of days later, I went back to see if they were still there...and what do you know? They were! Small town consignment shops don't move merchandise all that quickly I suppose. I snatched them up, dreaming about ways I could spiff them up. They were a little dingy and dirty, so once I got them home, I scrubbed that milk glass, and they're already lookin' mighty purty. Since I can't keep them, I'm planning to put them up for sale in my Etsy shop (they are vintage, after all!).

Here they are after I cleaned them up:

Pretty nice, huh? I love the hobnail detail on the milk glass. 

Here are some closeups so you can see a little better:

One thing I'm not crazy about, but somewhat reluctant to change, is the wood piece in the middle. I did a little Googling to see if this was a common "look" for these kinds of lamps, and many do seem to have that wood section...so my dilemma lies in whether I should paint that part. I did some more Googling to see if others had painted the wood pieces on similar lamps. I found two that I thought looked great, which is helping me decide whether to go down the painting road or not, but I want some more opinions before making a final decision. So this is where you, my dear reader, come in. I need your help! Take a look at the next couple of photos, and let me know in the comments whether you like the "au naturel" look, white, or gold.


{source: Like a Saturday}

What do you think?

*** Update: I listed the lamps in my Etsy shop and they sold very quickly! Thanks to all for the feedback on updating them. I ended up leaving them as is with the wood section au naturale for selling purposes. Seemed to have worked out! 

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  1. Those are so pretty! The wood looks like its in very good shape, so it would be fine to leave it. You might want to, especially if you're planning on selling them on Etsy. You could also try staining them a bit darker, or painting with a little chalk paint. I'm also quite partial to the gold on my lamps. Looking forward to seeing what you decide on! :)

    1. I agree about the wood - it's in good shape, and keeps the vintage vibe going. Thanks for taking a look!

  2. What a good find! They are so pretty and are in great shape. I would suggest since you are selling them on etsy leave them as-is as but if you're still indecisive I would take a really fine sandpaper and see if you can get that stain off and leave it the natural colour of the wood and apply a little wax to it so it will have a soft shine:) I hope that didn't add to your delima but really don't think you can go wrong no matter what you end up doing with them:)


    1. Thanks Regina! I ended up selling them "as-is" on Etsy, which worked out really well. Thanks for your suggestions though, I appreciate you taking time to comment!

  3. Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.
    Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.
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  4. Gone are the days when outdoor lighting for most people meant putting up a few bare bulbs here and there. indoor/outdoor lighting

  5. All rooms need a variety of lighting: ambient or background lighting, task lighting for close-up work or accent lighting to highlight special features. You can always update a room and improve the atmosphere with good interior lamps..


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