In the planning of my new apartment I have been looking for white lamps (or ones that I could spray paint) for the longest time. I finally found the cutest pair of antique milk glass lamps at a garage sale a few weeks ago for only $3 a piece! The existing gold finish wasn't terrible, but to match my decor theme, and to cover up the slightest bit of rust and tarnish, I decided to paint the metal parts a matte black to resemble black iron or something similar.
The first step was to take the lamps apart. If you have never done this, its a piece of cake. The key on the side of the lamp is internally threaded and will screw off. After removing the light bulb, the wiring component will screw off also. Below is a picture of the wiring component removed from the base.
A flat head screwdriver loosens the wires. Once the wires are removed the rest of the lamp can be disassembled. The next step is to take the wires and twist them to make reassembling the lamps easier, and to increase contact among all of the wires.
On the base of the lamps there were rings of metal that could not be removed, so I had to tape around them to spray paint them. First I did a close taping right around the ring.
Next, I used a plastic bag to cover the rest of the base and taped it around the portion that was already taped.
The most important part of this prepping is to cover the threaded portion of the base with tape so that it doesn't get painted, and so that you can put the lamp back together!
After a few light coats of spray paint on the bases, the middle brackets and the keys, it was time to reassemble the lamps. Thread the wire back through the base and the bracket, and up through the wiring mechanism. When rewiring, wrap the twisted wire clock-wise around the screw so that tightening the screw doesn't unwrap the wire, but instead helps secure it in place.
After tightening down the wires, reattach the wiring mechanism to the base, lining up the key's position with the hole in the bracket. Re-thread the key into place, replace any covers or guards for the wiring mechanism, and insert your light bulb. Top it all off with your lamp's top, and voila! New lamp!
And of course, plug it in to make sure it works...