Vintage Light Restoration


There are a number of projects sitting in the queue and this was a simple one that I’ve been meaning to do on a snow day.  The lights are a pair of 1940’s (or earlier) buffet lights that used to be on the dining room breakfront before we got it.  I don’t ever remember them being on but they were always plugged in with light bulbs at the ready.

I remembered that they were pretty beat up and that I didn’t want to trust the wiring so I ordered some 18 Gauge Rayon wire and two vintage plugs from Sundial Wire.  The hardest part was picking the color.  I wanted to stay as original as possible, but what was the original color?  The rayon was brown now, so was it originally gold?  Cream? The on/off switch was brown so maybe the wire had been brown all along?  It couldn’t be gold, all the accent metals were silver.  I knew I wanted the wire to not attract attention so I crossed my fingers and went with white.

Below is a photo of the lamps direct from storage, it looks kind of like a DIYer Christmas present…


Looking a little dingy and beat up, a couple of the crystals have fallen off.


Disassembly begins!  It went quicker than I thought.  Everything is held together by a simple nut on the bottom, kinda scary actually!


Everyone into the bath!  All the crystal and most of the metal end up in the sink with some Oxi Clean.  It is amazing what this stuff does to dirty and dingy crystal!


The rewiring is done, Sorry no action shots.  A funny thing happened when I took the wiring off, turns out the original wire was white!  A portion had been protected for all these years in the threaded pipe.  I didn’t replace the sockets, they were in near perfect condition so I just cleaned them up.


 An hour later, everything is sparkly clean!


Finally assembly and their new home!


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