Friday, April 27, 2012

Got Up Early To Enjoy This Fine Thursday Morning And Work On A Lamp. Status: Shiny But Not Perfect.

before after

This floor lamp looked pretty rough when I spotted it at the Green Shag Market a little over a month ago but it was just so cheap.  It had good bones as they say.  I thought, even if I have to paint the metal it'll be worth taking home, but I was hoping that I could just clean it up and it would be fine.  Well...


...It turns out a previous owner had attempted to spruce this baby up with a coat of gold paint.

Fail. Hmmm, maybe that's a bit harsh. It may have been done a long time ago and it just wasn't

wearing well. But any old way, it was coming off so's I could see what we're working with. Also,

I wanted to see what kinda damage 0000 steel wool was going to do to polished brass. I think

it looks fine for getting a good scrubbing with the steel wool, but I'll let you judge for yourself.


Sure, there are swirl marks but if there weren't any other issues with the brass finish I'd be super

happy with this look. But..


...Yeah, there's some corrosion and pitting in spots on the base. Ah ha, so this is why they

painted it! Such a shame because the base looks so pretty and shiny now. But that corrosion

is pretty evident when viewed indoors. It looks like I'm gonna have to give it yet another shot

of paint. But at least I know what it coulda looked like!


At least that walnut center section shined up REAL nice! I just used some steel wool,

Howard's Walnut Restore-A-Finish and then followed up with a nice coat of Howard's

Feed-N-Wax. Lookin' good. So what color would look great with the Walnut? Bright and

shiny white? My ol' standby: satin black? Pale green? Got any suggestions?


Ain't that pretty? I love getting shots like this where the subject is in focus and the background is

blurred. Can you believe that I've taken more than 7000 photos with my little Nikon Coolpix L1?

It's a great little camera. One of my favorite features is that it takes standard AA batteries. Of

course I use Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeables, but if I get stuck out with dead batteries I can

still pop into a quickshop and buy a set of regular alkalines to get me by. Can't do that with

proprietary rechargeables.


The Restore-A-Finish isn't a miracle worker. There are still some minor boo boos on the walnut

section. It looks sooo much better though that these little blemishes are easily overlooked. As a

matter of fact, they were difficult to even photograph and they can be rotated around to the back

side or wall side when the lamp is in use. So I guess I'll be showing this lamp again after I decide

on a color and shoot the metal bits.


  1. That wood is looking good! :-) My daughter the Art College soon-to-be-Graduate told me those wonderful, blurry background effect is called "bokeh."

    1. Uhm...I *do* know some grammar, despite evidence to the contrary: "that" effect, not "those."

    2. Hi Becky. Thanks for the 411! And the unintentional grammar lesson!

  2. Brass plate is a tough one to bring back with out scratching or removing the plating down to the base metal all together. I`ve been looking into the compound used to remove the protective film off of aluminium rims. Brass plate lamps have the same film and moisture gets under it over time tarnishing the brass. If you can get the film off safely then Brasso will polish and not scratch.

    1. Hi David. This brass plate is beyond saving. It's gotta be painted or re-plated. It ain't gettin' re-plated by this guy. Have you ever used a clear spray (rattle can) to replace a clear coat?

  3. Mr. M,

    I've been reading up about people who work on cars and the like using metallic spray paints for a shiny gold, perhaps try one of the higher rated ones? That shine is beautiful, though, and even with the blemish, I think it looks great. I think a good metallic spray paint might be your next best bet, unless it makes it look too gawdy.


    1. Hi Jennifer. Maybe a big loud '70s metal flake? That would be awesome(!)...but maybe not. I can remember my sister's boyfriend had a red, white and blue metal flake Camaro when I was like 11! It was soooo cool! No I'm going to go more "mod" with this. Thanks for the suggestion. (I know you weren't actually talking about the big funky metal flake but that immediately popped into my mind!)