Save the lamp

9:00 AM

Once upon a time, we had a nice fancy table lamp in our living room. We bought it while I was pregnant with Ishita suddenly falling in love with dim lights over harsh neon tubes. We were happy, new parents to be, wanting to make our home more homely to celebrate or new rank promotion, so we splurged a little during that time. That lamp was a gorgeous lamp with a ceramic stand in the shape of stacked pebbles, bought from an exclusive shop, but Ohhhh we loved it ( we still do). We were very careful with it, made sure it was kept out of the dogs reach when out of the house and all. Then Ishita arrived, all was well. We moved across the country 3 times, all was well. Ishita went from newborn to toddler in all that time, and this is when trouble started. Two years ago she made that lamp fall, it broke into 3-4 pieces at the time, all clean cut and easy to glue back together, the lamp was looking less perfect, but it wasn't too bad.

This weekend, said lamp crashed to the floor again, and it was a joint effort between the dog and the daughter. Ishita hid some leftover ice cream behind the TV thinking the dog won't reach it. We went out, and came back to the lamp on the floor with the base pebble broke into a thousand pieces and shards. It was clear that the dog tried to climb the TV stand to reach the forgotten ice cream cup and sent the lamp down to its fate. DH was ready to call the lamp go od and dead and ready for the bin. I told him I could save it. He was very doubtful about that, there were just too many pieces, even if I could put it back together it would look ugly. I reminded him I was a jigsaw puzzle freak in my youth.

So the game began...

The first step was of course to pick up all the pieces, take the tube of ALL FIX glue from Pidilite, I keep in my craft supplies closet (stay away from feviquick for that one, too fast, and too much risks of fingers glued to each other permanently). With my work surface ready, I went fixing the base, piece by piece, using my jigsaw puzzle mind mode to do it, carefully figuring out which pieces fit together, taking my time to let the glue set, consolidating the structure as I went with fevicol white glue and newspaper inside the hollow base. DH could not believe his eyes, The base that was a million shards on the ground and looked not much like the base of our lamp was looking close of its old self in over an hour or laborious work ( I was almost done when the picture above was taken). The lamp was almost back to its former glory.

I got it all back together, at the exception of a few shards and it left it with a gaping hole at the impact point. A bit unsightly, but I assured DH once I would be done with it it would look almost as good as new. At this point all I needed was more fevicol glue, old newspapers, and some acrylic paint to match the original colour. We lacked the paint so we went out again to buy some at my favourite craft supplies shop. And with some free time on Monday and Yesterday I went to work on it.

The first step was to cover the base with newspaper bits and glue, a bit like a kids craft project you can see on "Mister Maker". You might wonder why this step. Why not simply painting the whole surface and call it quit. Remember that there was still a hole on the side that needed to be covered, and that the break lines were so noticeable paint alone would not mask them. Then even if acrylic paint dries out to become glossy and waterproof, it needs a rougher surface to adhere to to stay put and not chip I. The long run. The newspaper and glue, would hide the hole, make the cracks less noticeable and act as a primer for my acrylic paint, all that at a cheap price and far less messy option than white cement and sanding. I pasted shreds of old paper on the base, and after having covered it all, applied a layer of white glue on top to smooth the newspaper as much as I could and let it dry completely.

Then came the painting, the colour was achieved mixing some dark brown paint with a little black paint and I carefully applied two layers of it on the lamp. The result is what you see above. If you look at it without knowing what it's gruesome fate was this last weekend you will not notice a thing, the surface is a bit more grainy than the one of the pebbles above but you might think it was part of the original design. The fracture lines are still slightly noticeable through the paper and pain treatment if you know what you are looking for. Our beautiful lamp was saved, and I got the accolade from DH who could not believe it could be saved at all.

I'll settle for being called the jigsaw queen, putting the pieces back together was the most challenging part, painting and restaurant the surface is something far easier to pull.

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  1. Arunesh1:44 PM

    Wow! The cracks are almost unnoticeable on the restore lamp! That's some serious talent you got there, Cyn!

  2. Navya4:05 PM

    wow.. you are really talented Cyn... :) this is what they call "a labor of love"

  3. The flu season is during the monsoon in Mumbai, far less a problem during the winter which is pretty mild. I read somewhere that the lack of sun actually can affect the immune system and since the monsoon in Mumbai usually means little to no sun for weeks at a stretch it makes sense.
    Kids aren't told to not play holi around here, but probably because in March it is getting scorching hot and people will dry out in the sun in no time, but would make sense not to fall sick during the exam, they are going on in the SSC board here right now.

  4. Thanks, my family is really into DIY, painting, fixing things and what not, so I guess I learned a lot that way. Plus as I said I also am a jigsaw puzzle addict. When I was a kid my mom and I would use the long cold winter evenings to do jigsaws after dinner. We would pick complicated one with 1000 pieces or more, I think we never did any that was less than 500 pieces and the biggest we did was 2000 if I remember well, it would keep us busy for weeks.
    I now do them on my iPad or phone, I need Ishita to be a bit older before bringing in a giant jigsaw puzzle home :-)

  5. Sharmishtha6:50 PM

    Love the lamp. All your DIY projects are really pretty. Being a full time working mom, rarely get to indulge my DIY side but love looking at other people's projects.

  6. Thank you, yeah DYI projects can become very time consuming. I do most of my big ones when Ishita is in school, because when she is around she wants to do something too and we end up doing some kids craft projects instead.

  7. wow, impressive. I would not believe, it could be fixed.

    1. It was hard, but doable, since then, my cat sent it flying down the table and it broke once more, but again, I managed to fix it.


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