The Restoration of Antique Brass and Wrought Iron Flush Mount Ceiling Light.
I came across two of these antique brass with cast iron rosette flush mount fixtures while browsing the inventory of an online vendor. I liked the deep relief of the Acanthus leaves on the rosettes.
You never really know what you are getting from an online purchase but I felt pretty confident in the vendor's photographs and description to pull the trigger on the purchase.
Once they arrived, I had to decide if this was the type of item that would be more desirable by just cleaning it up and adding new components or if it would require deeper restoration. The layers of failing latex paint would start to push me to the latter.
Using Dumond Smart Strip (link provided) and some elbow grease, I got to work on the fixtures. It took a few coats but we got the old paint off. Under the paint was hidden a lovely brass ceiling canopy and an equally lovely iron rosette.
One of the biggest challenges is to know how far you want to take a restoration project and this was no different. The fixture was now free of paint, but the brass had some inconsistencies in color tones due to aging and the process of cleaning. I could polish the brass and add lacquer or I could just linseed oil the fixture, leaving all the inconsistencies in place.
Honestly, either way would have been fine for this piece. I chose to linseed oil the fixture. The linseed oil consists of 1/2 boiled linseed oil and 1/2 paint thinner. Apply the first coat let it sit for a minute then wipe off with a rag and repeat, each time you repeat the process the piece will get more and more glossy. The fixture has three applications of linseed oil applied. Don't let the linseed oil sit too long or it will become gummy and will have to be completely removed before you can continue.
Now was the time for the parts. We almost always replace the socket and wires from each restored piece. Sometimes the new parts might need customizing or tweaking. This piece was pretty easy and it used a standard base sign socket which we sell with wired leads or without leads. I didn't like the look of the white unglazed porcelain socket ring. I thought it stuck out way too much so I painted the ring with a Rustoleum Hammered Dark Bronze.
The fixture will receive a new adjustable mounting bracket, installation hardware, brass thumb nuts, and wire sheathing. (The latter three items can be purchased by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org)