Vintage Lighting….and a Tutorial


I’ve owned up to my fixation love affair with Vintage lighting a few times, here and on Facebook.
I don’t understand it any better than you do, it just IS.
The fact that I have more lighting than lighting outlets is actually the bigger problem.

Sometimes you get lucky and find a Vintage Light that requires no work at all (except maybe easy stuff like changing the chain), like this one:

Thrift store Light – $7.99, New chain & hooks: $6.99.
 Character & awesomeness added to room – priceless.
You totally want to snuggle in my nest chair and read, don’t you?  I know.


But sometimes it’s a good idea to re-wire an old (ish) fixture; it may increase the allowable wattage, and make the fixture safer.  This is SO not a difficult thing to do – The Mister & I created a picture tutorial for you to follow along with.  Some things might not be exactly the same for your fixture, but the basics will be.
Of course before we proceed I have to advise you to consult a licensed electrician to do any electrical work in your home.  soulstyle/I make no guarantees or warrant any advice provided.

Step 1 : In the case of these hanging lights, take the glass/globes off, and pull the socket out.

You can pull all the wires out and take the chain right off.
This is also your opportunity to paint if needed (I used Rustoleum Satin Nickel, plus another finish on top, details at end….)




Step 2 : We purchased a “Swag Light Kit” for $17.99; this supplied 14’ of new wire with the plug, the socket, ceiling hooks, and chain.  Take the threaded rod and thread it into the new socket (part A), insert it through the top of the fixture, and screw your top finial hook on.




Step 3 : Feed the cord down through the top of the fixture (at finial), through the threaded rod and out the socket.  Strip a bit of the wire sheathing off the end of the cord to expose the wires, split them, and loop each side around the screws on part B.  Turn screws to tighten.  Take part B of the socket and fit it into part A.




Now add a bulb, plug it in and there should be light!

I told you this was simple.  Now you can feed the wire through the chain (we went every third link so that it would swag very swaggishly….translation: the chain would hang looser).

In our case, these lights would be hanging bedside.  Meaning, I needed to be able to turn the light off without getting out of bed.  So for function, the options were either A) splice a switch box into the cord or B) get The Clapper.
We went with the switch box because frankly, sometimes I’m too tired to clap.

Figure out from the plug end of the cord where you want your switch.  We used the height of nightstands because the wire/chain hangs behind them to plug into the wall.  Cut the cord where you choose.  You should now have one end going to the fixture, and the other with the plug.


Unscrew & open the Switch Box.  Then unscrew 1 side of each metal band on either end – the wires will lay under this.
The little orange tube in picture 1 is called a Butt Splice.  Seriously, it is.
Split the wires on both ends and put 1 from each side into the tube.  Crimp it (pliers).  The other ends of the wires from each side are looped on the screws and tightened down.

Screw the switch box back together and that’s it!  No clapper required.

We attached the switch boxes to the back of each nightstand, so you can’t even see them.

Now about that finish I used – I happened upon Rub ‘n’ Buff awhile back, which was quite extraordinary because it is not readily available here in Canada.  I once looked into having it shipped here, and it was about 11 kajillion dollars just in shipping, so after some thought, I decided against it.  But I snapped it up when I saw it basically just to hoard it.  So many of my Blog BFF’s talk about it, so obv. I needed to experience the excitement.
PLUS – it’s called RUB ‘N BUFFNaughty, Right?

So, I indeed Rubbed and I Buffed – and I now fully understand it’s amazingness.
It’s a metallic wax – basically a cream that you just rub on (any material/surface) and it dries hard.

And pretty:

Vintage lighting in here was the perfect finishing detail – they compliment the chandelier perfectly and I love the swag.
They fit with overall eclectic mix of old and new, worn but pretty.

One more post to do with something in the Master Bedroom and then I swear I’m done until the floors are painted. And it’s an IKEA hack, so not even specific to a bedroom, just THIS bedroom…K?



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  1. Those are seriously cute lights!


  2. I LOVE them AND the texture matches the duvet cover beautifully. Subtle and perfectly matched.

  3. such a cool idea
    and so thrifty

    love how they turned out

    thanks for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded


    p.s. just liked your fb page!

  4. the salvage collection says:

    what a job you did! they look beautiful!

  5. Love the room! I love the clean fresh look and the shabby chic style the lights bring in. : )

  6. I am a total addict when it comes to lovely light fixtures! I love your entire room, but the lights are the WOWZA!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  7. I love your light fixtures! I’ve bought a couple of similar ones at thrift stores with no plans for them- I just loved them and wanted to rescue them! I hadn’t thought of using them by the bed- hmmm….

  8. I love them, they look beautiful in your bedroom. They complement the chandelier perfectly, they look like two sparkley earings.

  9. Love your vintage lights! I’m a vintage chandelier lover myself.
    Mary Alice

  10. Just beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial–I’ve got an old light fixture I want to spruce up, and this will be perfect.

  11. Great tutorial. Maybe I’ll have to break down a buy some of those old lights that I think have possibilities. Well, maybe just one… I’m looking for something unique for over my kitchen sink, and you’ve given me some ideas. I’ll have to look for that naughty stuff you were talking about!

  12. Fabulous tutorial! What a patient hubby you have! 🙂 I love your vintage lights – especially with the Rub N-Buff on them! Soooo pretty! And your chandy is to die for, girl!

    xoxo laurie

  13. So fantastic!! They look incredible and you cannot beat that price. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this post at Meet Me Monday. I canNOT believe how brave you are with lighting. I need to get braver! It adds so much character to your rooms. It’s giving me all kinds of ideas. I can’t wait to see what else you are up to. Love, Me

  15. Love it- and I have two very similar lights and have thought about doing that same thing with them. Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

  16. Just gorgeous, your lighting really “makes” your bedroom! thanks for linking up to VIF and the great tutorial! I’ll be featuring this post on VIF this afternoon.

  17. I am so thrilled you shared this at my party. I have a light that I was waiting to find this kind of tutorial for. Can’t wait!! Will be featuring this today when it opens at 2:00 PST. Thanks!

  18. Great Post. Love your style. Stopping over from Redoux Interiors, Deb

  19. Found you at Redoux! Love your whole room and the lighting is sublime. That bench is crazy good!!! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  20. Tracy, those vintage lights are to die for!!! So chic and thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I’m so glad you joined the DIY Talent Parade.


  21. Thanks so much for using AMACO’s Rub ‘n Buff. Your lights look fantastic! I’d like to post on our Facebook page

  22. Stylist Kimmi says:

    Where did you end up getting the Rub n Buff after all?


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