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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Refinishing Vintage Lighting (part 2)

For those of you who have been waiting for the next installment of this cliffhanger of an article, here it is!

The next morning I stuck my head outside the doghouse. I failed to see my shadow and realized several things. It wasn't February yet. I really should move the dog house out of the basement someday soon and most importantly, it was time to paint my light parts.

I spray painted them with Rustoleum Metallic Gold enamel paint and the result was this.

Kinda boring, eh? Time to spice them up a bit.

Well, I have this jar of acrylic glaze left over from when we painted one of the rooms in the "Old Crack House", I could also have used an acrylic varnish but that was in the basement of the aforementioned "Crack House" and I was three blocks away feeling kind of lazy. I mixed some raw umber acrylic paint with some of the glaze and brushed it over the gold being sure to allow it to sit in the detailed areas in order to enhance the detail. This also darkens the gold color and gives it a bit more color depth.

Did you notice how I used the washing machine as a workbench and a back drop once again?
After this had dried I painted the black detail in by hand using a #1 artist brush. I let that dry which doesn't take very long and was ready for the fun part.
Now for the "Magic". Get ready to throw the eggs and rotten vegetables .....

I painted over the the entire painted area with a thick coat of amber shellac. I was certain to allow it to pool in those crevices to enhance the detail and darken the gold paint. It adds another depth of color to the gold spray paint.

In this picture the piece on the left has been shellacked, the piece on the right has not. If you can't see the difference you could certainly smell it in my basement!

The next thing I did was apply two coats of clear shellac tinted with turmeric. I have a small baby food jar of this stuff left over from refinishing an old light fixture several weeks back. This actually acts as a "glaze" and adds a golden color to the high spots. At this point the fixtures have a super wet look. Too glossy really.

So I sprayed them with a satin water based polyurethane, rewired them

and now they look like this

I put them on Ebay this afternoon.

Oh, I almost forgot. This is the one we are keeping. It is way too art deco to give up!


At 1/12/2008 3:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job; I hope you sold them. I took a look a week or so ago, but I couldn't justify bidding. I have no place in my house that can use a sconce of that style.

BTW, how many colors of shellac do you keep on hand typically?

At 1/12/2008 12:11 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Yeah, they sold. It was worth the work since it kept me busy for a bit.
I only have a can of amber shellac and a can of sealer (because the store was out of clear shellac). I have a jam jar of walnut aniline dye in alcohol which can be added to either to darken the shellac and I have that baby food jar of sealer mixed with turmeric for golding brass. I used that on my copper pipe in the "Steampunk" bathroom to reduce tarnishing. I think I need to evict the cave crickets in the basement and get me some lac bugs!

At 1/14/2008 11:45 AM, Blogger RubyRed said...

Wow, I am definitely impressed with these fixtures. That takes some true skill and talent. The black looks great, but I wonder what other colors could be painted on, like red or green. Very cool, I might have to use this idea!


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