The post was in rough shape, with a lot of the paint having peeled off during the years; the top of the lantern kept blowing off each time we'd get a big windstorm, and, upon inspection, had been disconnected from the main gas line several years before.
I decided I was going to rehab the post, and, because I
a) didn't want to mess around with gas, and -
b) couldn't afford to have electrical run to the post,
I decided to go solar with it.
The hardest part was removing the original lantern - the screws were rusted and painted in place, and required a little extra to get them out. But I did it! And look at it now!
Here's how I completed this easy, one day project.
And, a tutorial on how I made my address sign is coming!
*DISCLOSURE: Please ensure if you are replacing a gas lamp that the gas to the lamp has been properly disconnected by a qualified technician. If your old light is electric, make sure to properly cap and disconnect the electricity to the post before working on it.
- New Solar Light!!! (I ended up going with this one by Hampton Bay - but see below - there are several options out there - note in the picture the glass looks yellow, but it's not - it's clear)
- Sandpaper (I used a combination of 80 and then 100 grit)
- Spray Paint (I used a combination of Rustoleum Hammered Black and Hammered Pewter in my attempt to match the aged finish of the new light)
- Spray lubricant (optional) - for any rusty screws you may need to remove
- Sanding mask and gloves (optional) - if you think lead paint may be present
- Safety Goggles
A few things I came across in my research which you might consider when choosing a new light for your post:
- Most post light retrofits are for a 3" diameter pole - double check the diameter of your post before purchasing your light.
- There are several types of solar lamp post lights to choose from - with various styles, shapes, colors, and colors of light. I had originally picked out this light from Amazon:
- Most of these lights will require a replacement rechargeable battery within a couple of years of use. For most they are readily available but be prepared for some minor maintenance.
- Make sure that your post is not to close to any other light source - like a street lamp - which would make the surrounding area too bright for the light to ever come on, even though it's dark outside (a light source that might mimic daylight)
- Screwdriver or drill (I used my Black & Decker Matrix cordless (LOVE IT!))
- If your old lamp light's screws are rusted in place, you might need a screw extractor kit like I did!
- A sharp blade/exacto knife if your screws are painted or rusted in place (I have this one)
I had some problems removing the old, rusty screws. At first, I tried using a blade to cut around the base of the screw to remove any old paint. No go.
Then, I tried spraying the screws, several times over a few days with this lubricating spray, and then hitting the head of the screw several times with a hammer (in theory, to break the rust bonds) - but - no go.
Sew at Home Mummy Tip:
|Yikes! This poor, beat up lamp post is in some dire need of paint!|
I started with this 80 grit sandpaper, and then finished up with a 100 grit. Basically, I was just trying to remove all of the chipping paint, and trying to even out any obvious gouges or scratches in the old paint.
Given the age of the post (stamped with 1960) I assumed that lead paint was present. I wore this mask, this eye protection and a pair of gloves to sand, ensured the kids were not around, and made sure to clean up well once I was finished.
**DIY at your own risk in the presence of lead paint.**
|I mixed two colors of hammered metal spray paint, putting light layers oneover the other in order to match the new light's hammered/weathered look|
The hardest part about this, for me, was two-fold:
In the end, they are not a perfect match, but pretty close!
As I said above, I'm currently working on the tutorial for the address plaque/sign or house number sign hanging from the post in this picture - I'll be sure to add a link to here to that post when it goes live.
In the meantime - happy DIY'ing!