Thursday, May 28, 2015

Outdoor Lamp Project

Solar lighting with style
I have been looking for a way to use solar lights in our outdoor patio area.
Fred and I frequently underestimate the time we be away from our RV and forget to leave an outdoor light on. 
We could have just stuck them in the ground, but I worried about the tripping over them. I am sure Rascal would have had his lead wrapped around them in a pattern resembling 1970's string art.

Enter Redo it Yourself Inspirations where Saratoga Springs blogger Robin wrote a post called Cut the Cord. In that post Robin demonstrated turning old salvaged lighting fixtures into solar lamps.

Thrift store shopping is a favorite pastime of mine. We had to visit several before finding a lamp that was heavy enough not to blow over in the wind and sturdy enough to survive being carted around in the motor coaches storage bays during travel.

Salvage store lamp $4.99
Found it! This lamp is made of cast metal with a brass plating. It is heavy.
On the way home we stopped at Lowes to find a solar light that would complement the lamp and
paint that matched the color of the solar light.

The guts of the lamp were easy to remove.  Fred cut off the electric cord. Then all we had to do was unscrew one nut at the bottom to release all of the other components.
The exterior of the lamp was very shiny so I spent 30 minutes sanding to give it a surface that the paint could adhere to.
A quick bath with warm soapy water followed by an hour in the sun and our lamp was ready for paint.
We chose a Rustoleum brand paint and primer in one, in an oiled bronze color that is very close to that of the solar light.

The painting took several hours as we preferred to apply multiple light coats. We also flipped the lamp over between coats to make sure that all of the turns and ridges were covered.

We took the stick off of the solar light and glued it into the top of the lamp base.

Solar lamp after painting
 We were pleased with the finished product and have enjoyed coming home to its gentle light on our RV's outdoor patio.


  1. Looks good. The color almost matched the coaches silver paint too.

    1. You are right. I never even thought of that. Too funny.