Just because you’ve got a lamp with a broken base, that doesn’t mean you automatically have to toss it in the garbage; repairing a lamp base isn’t necessarily out of the question. Whether it’s a family heirloom, a favorite style, or because you just don’t feel like shelling out the cash for a new one, you can find materials to repair a broken lamp base at your local home improvement store, craft store, or online. So before you trash it, try some of these tips for repairing a lamp base and see if you can’t have it looking like new in no time.
If it’s simply a matter of a chip or a piece that’s broken off, as long as you’ve saved the fragment, you can always try gluing it back on. A trip to the adhesive aisle at your local home improvement center will reveal a wide variety of fixative options for nearly every type of material imaginable, including ceramic, wood, metal, and plastic. Find an adhesive that is appropriate for the lamp base material, then carefully apply it to the broken piece. Be sure not to put too much on and wipe off any excess that squeezes out when you reattach the piece. To hold the lamp base together until it’s fully dry, use a piece of masking tape. If a portion of the finish has chipped and some of the unfinished material beneath is visible, visit a craft or art supply store to find a small quantity of paint in a similar color or metallic tone. You may need to layer colors a bit to achieve the same finish. Use a small paintbrush to do the touch-up.
If, upon adhering the piece, you find that a noticeable divot is present or if you don’t have the missing piece at all, your local craft store may be the solution. Look for materials that start soft and malleable and then harden into a material similar to porcelain or glass. If the lamp base is made of wood, home improvement stores carry wood putty that is paintable and stainable, perfect for filling in any gaps. Apply the material according to the manufacturer’s directions and allow ample drying time. Then find a paint color similar to the lamp base’s finish to camouflage your repair. If necessary, apply a coat of sealer to prevent chipping.
If the lamp base is so damaged that repair is out of the question, consider replacing it entirely with a new one. Lighting stores and online lamp part retailers are great sources for replacement lamp bases to suit nearly any style of lamp. GrandBrass sells replacement lamp bases made of cast or spun brass, marble, and finished or unfinished wood for both table and floor lamps. Styles range from the simple to the traditional to the ornate. If you’re replacing the base on an antique lamp, check out some of the beautiful cast brass replacement lamp bases at AntiqueLampSupply.com.
If the lamp is a cherished heirloom or a valuable piece, you may be better off seeking the help of a professional rather than attempting to repair it yourself. Check with lighting or antique stores in your area to see if they can’t recommend someone capable of restoring your piece. Lamps with chips on crystal bases can be ground and polished by a professional as well.