How to Repair Old Fixtures
There are several ways to repair old fixtures. The first way is to clean and restore them. Then you need to apply a new finish. If the finish is too faded to be repaired, you can replace them using an electroplating process. But it is important to note that this method is toxic and environmentally regulated in most states.
Restoring an antique light fixture
If your home has an antique light fixture, restoring it is an excellent way to preserve its character while giving it a fresh new look. You can easily restore an antique fixture or hire a professional lighting restoration specialist. The restoration process can be a fun DIY project, but there are a few steps to follow to ensure that the finished product looks as authentic as possible.
The first step in restoring vintage lighting is to clean it. This will reveal any damaged finishes or casting detail that needs to be repaired. The next step is to refinish the fixtures with appropriate products. Enameling and clear lacquer finishes are the easiest to restore. Gilding and replating can be tricky to restore and require certain conditions to maintain the finish.
Cleaning a brass fixture
You can clean your brass fixtures with a few household items. But you must use extra care when cleaning heavy stains or soiled areas. A solution made of one part salt and one part vinegar should be applied to the brass fixture with a soft cloth. Once the solution is applied, it should be rinsed off the brass fixture and left to dry.
Generally, a mild solution is sufficient to clean brass. However, if the tarnish is too severe, you can try other remedies such as baking soda or lemon juice. To remove tarnish, rub the brass item with the mixture. Let the mixture sit for about half an hour before wiping off with a cloth or sponge. You may also use a lemon or a piece of salt.
Replacing a plated fixture
Replacing a plated fixture involves replacing its metal finish. This process requires expert help since it involves using chemicals and electrical processes that can harm health. A professional can perform this task for an average price of $100-500 per fixture. If the fixture has a rust-prone finish, you must first remove the rust. If you have a microfiber cloth, soak it in water and dish soap to remove the rust. Alternatively, you can use a paste of baking soda and water.
Applying a new finish
If your light fixtures have an old finish, you may want to consider applying a new finish. You can spray a paint color with a primer, and apply an even coat. Allow the first coat to dry completely before adding a second. Another option is gilding, which involves adding gold leaf to the old finish.
Before applying the new finish to your old fixtures. This will help the new finish to cure properly and look great. Also, tape off the area to achieve the best lines.
Rewiring an old fixture
If you want to rewire an old light fixture, there are several steps you should take to get it up and to run again. The first step is to remove the existing wires. Then, find the place where all the wires come together. You should see something like the photo below. The new wire should be cut slightly longer than the old wire. Once you have exposed the old wire, use a wire stripper to remove it. You can then connect the new wire with small wire nuts.
Next, you need to rewire the socket. To do this, remove the old light socket and remove the old wire. Make sure the wires are stripped of insulation. You should leave about 1/8-in. of the insulation on the stranded wire. Then, use a connector to twist the stranded wire onto the solid wire. You should be able to twist the wire in a clockwise direction to connect it with the new fixture.