Rescuing our lights from brass
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The arc lamp:
We found this gem at a used furniture store and walked with it for a mere $14. It had a shiny brass plating that we desperately wanted to remove.
We thought about sanding, but had a gut feeling that the lamp was made of aluminum or some other light metal that wouldn’t recover from that kind of rough handling.
With fingers crossed, we bought a can of KleanStrip KS-3 Premium stripper and once it hit the surface, the brass bubbled off, revealing a clean silver shine.
As you can see from the decades of dust and nicotine-stained wiring, restoring the globe lights that came with our home was more involved than simple stripping.
In fact, stripping the plating off and hitting the metal with a fresh coat of white was the easy part. The challenge was tracking down and retrofitting all new wiring components.
If you’re taking on a similar task, don’t bother with Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menards. You’ll have to go to a specialty store with an experienced electrical repairman who can help you match up the proper inside components.
Tools used: screw driver, wire cutter/stripper, adjustable wrench, electrical tape, KleanStrip KS-3 Premium Stripper, fine sandpaper, Krylon primer, Krylon spray paint.
Restoration time: 3 hours (not including driving around and countless hours of research)
All three lamps add mid-century ambiance to our home and cost us less than $50 combined. And there’s something really rewarding about restoring some of the oldest pieces we own to fit seamlessly with some of the newest.