Ah! The potent joys of a holiday to Kent, where each time we visit I think I’ve cracked the lack of internet, only to fail miserably again and again..until the only option is to (with natural great regret) down tools entirely and embrace the holiday spirit and a world without computers. Needless to say, it was a walk along the path to bliss! But more on Kent another day..both pre and post trip I’ve been obsessed with the light for our new dining room. Much to my own surprise, having looked at various 1950’s and 70’s lights with their cool drama, I went for this classic flemish brass number. It was the
cost shape that made it stand out..over a metre tall and two tiered, like a Christmas tree (imagine decorating with ivy, fir and baubles. Sigh) but it was in a pretty sorry state and covered in a dark varnish much loved in the 1940’s that now just detracted, like a bad fitting nun’s habit from it’s simple lines and austerity appeal.
But how to clean it? Pinterest proved to be a wealth of info and basically there were two options – making a paste with vinegar and baking powder or soaking it in nail varnish remover. Not being sure how much nail varnish remover would be required to fill the bath and dubious about the effect of remover on electric wiring, I opted for the first choice.
The vinegar and baking soda bubbled up beautifully when mixed together and had the additional benefit of the evocative scent of a down town chippie.
It was slathered on and left to simmer gently.
The result? A huge, stinking, smelly mess…and no noticeable change.
Undeterred, Plan B went into action: Cotton wool pads soaked in nail varnish remover and wrapped around the light like a mummy.
It definitely made a difference, but didn’t shift the deeper stains which even elbow grease couldn’t budge.
Returned to instructions…and to give them their due, they did say to use very fine steel wool with the nail varnish remover.
And when I finally got hold of some (slack..always make sure you have required tools before you start) it was like magic..the black literally evaporated away. From this..
Like Cinders from the ashes, she’s turned into a real beaut! Now I just need to source some of those vintage, edison-like-filament bulbs that have been popping up everywhere..pray they do them in this size…but knowing my luck…they’ll cost more than the light!
Laters, Kate x