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How to reline a lampshade

A reader submitted photo of a lampshade with torn liner. (Reader submitted photo)

QI have a lampshade that I really like, but the lining is ripped. Rather than try to find a new one that matches, I would like to get a new lining for the one I have. Where can I get this done?


ATry the Lamplighter in Alexandria (703-549-4040; or Lamps Unlimited in McLean (703-827-0090;

Roger Vasilas, owner of the Lamplighter, suggests bringing the lamp as well as the shade so you can look at new shades and compare prices before you opt for relining. Some customers ultimately decide to buy a new shade, either because they find a good match that’s less expensive or because they decide it will update the look of the lamp. If a new shade doesn’t fit the lamp properly, there are ways to alter the lamp. With so many options, it’s helpful to have advice from people at a full-service lamp store.

Vasilas said relining can cost $75 to $200, with an average of about $85. Margie Woolaver, co-owner of Lamps Unlimited in McLean, said prices there range from $40 to $50 unless the exterior fabric also needs to be replaced, in which case the bill could be $60 to $100 or more, depending on size and fabric. New soft linings are always white to maximize reflectivity and minimize color conflicts with the exterior shade material.

I just read your July 25 column on restoring the finish on a brass door lock. Unlike the person who wrote in to simply polish up her door hardware, I have hardware that is definitely tarnished and needs to be refinished, something I cannot do. It’s a unique design (not a standard knocker/handle/etc.), and replacing it with a standard lockset will not work. I’d have to replace the entire door and lockset.

I am willing to take the lockset off the door for a few days. Do you know of any companies that will refinish the hardware that are located in Montgomery County? I tried a place in Kensington on Howard Avenue, but they never answered their phone.

Silver Spring

Actually, one place to go is probably the company you already tried, Metro Plating & Polishing on Howard Avenue in Kensington (301-493-4009; The shop’s hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ) or vacation schedules might explain why you’ve had trouble getting through. Owner Steve Polsky responded promptly to an e-mail sent through the contact form on the Web site and said he would be back at work Aug. 19.

Chevy Chase Plating & Polishing in Rockville (301-230-7686; also does this type of work.

Polsky and Richard Sisson at Chevy Chase Plating both said front-door hardware is typically solid brass. So they doubt it needs replating. Restoration of front-door hardware usually involves stripping old lacquer, polishing the brass and applying new lacquer. Polsky said a typical cost is around $45. Sisson gave a ballpark of $75 to $90. But because you say your hardware is unusual, the price may be different. You might want to e-mail a picture to get more precise estimates.

Metro Plating tries to give immediate attention to door hardware, Polsky said. So if you drop pieces off just after 10 a.m., they should be ready by 4 p.m., or you can pick them up the next morning. Chevy Chase Plating usually has a one-week turnaround but offers same-day service, usually on Wednesdays, for an 18 percent extra charge.

When hardware or other metal parts need replating, both shops offer that service, too.

Have a problem in your home? Send questions to Put “How To” in the subject line, tell us where you live and try to include a photo.

The Checklist Read Jeanne Huber’s roundup of home-improvement tasks you should tackle in August, such as replacing air conditioner filters, at



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