Not Too Shabby Now — Lighting

Its spring break for the kids. Whoo-hoo! Mom&Boys

Instead of getting out and about the two youngest are down with the flu—fever, headache, chills, the whole bit. Fortunately, we snuck in one fabulous day of skiing before they were confined to their sickbeds. Its now a week of PJ’s, chicken broth, cartoons, and March Madness.

I, on the other hand have taken full advantage of a week free of routine. I would venture to say that the Powder Room project is 98% complete. I am not sure my family believes me. We have become so accustomed to walking over tools, ladders, and sink parts in the hallway between the toilet and the mudroom that we can’t visualize it any other way. Yet, the list is really down to three final tasks: modify the vanity drawers to fit around the drainpipe; hook up the sink & faucet; paper the walls and add decorative elements and accessories. Which means its time to go shopping!


The faucet has a story of its own. I will save that for another day. This post is reserved for the elegant pendant lamp which currently hangs in the Powder Room like a piece of jewelry. It makes me smile every time I turn on the light switch.

See — Instant smile

In November my friend and I had gone antiquing. I needed to pick up the washstand I had stored at the cottage. We decided to make a day of it. I was on the lookout for any sphere shaped object that could be turned into a lamp. I had almost given up when I saw this amber globe out of the corner of my eye. It was a lamp, complete with all its parts. The dealer said I could have it for $30. With my friend’s approval, I snatched up the deal and left the shop elated.

When I got home, the lamp was met with mixed reviews, the exception being the Professor who liked it. No one else came right out and said, “Wow that’s an interesting throwback to the 70’s,” but their lack of response told me they hadn’t caught my vision yet. I remained firm and unaffected by the skepticism.


I didn’t disapprove of the amber tone myself until I put a bulb in and realized there were some unsightly flaws and scratches in its finish. Luckily, it was easy to remove. I figured the amber tone was just a form of paint and therefore could be persuaded off with furniture stripper. It worked like a charm.

Removing colour from glass with paint stripper
Removing colour from glass with paint stripper — video coming soon
I knew I had made the right decision when I saw the glass sparkle like this
I knew I had made the right decision when I saw the glass sparkle like this

Next task was to restore the finish on the metal parts. Once I determined they were brass I decided against painting them. Check out my video on cleaning and aging brass hardware.

Magnet test — if the magnet does not stick you know you have solid brass and not brass plating
The brass parts cleaned up even better than I imagined

The great thing is the project cost me very little as I used products I had in the house. It was also good to have an afternoon away from the Reno detail. This was more crafty and science project-like. I highly recommend finding your own retro lamp and up-cycling it to your liking. You will be left with a one-of-a-kind original. You can’t beat that.