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Architectural Salvage

Cheap or Clever |thrift store junkies

You decide: Am I cheap or clever? I guess you could say I’m cheap, but I prefer to think of myself as clever.  After all, is it really all that smart to pay more for something than you really have to?  Um. no.  Case in point: we needed to find two replacement exterior light fixtures.  We went to some lovely lighting stores on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley and saw lots of nice fixtures ranging from $450 to several thousand dollars.  We were looking for something with some character that would adorn 1920’s Spanish Revival architecture.  But, nothing was really speaking to us.  Then, we sauntered over to Ohmega Salvage – and lo’ and behold – it was a treasure trove of neglected light fixtures just screaming out for some love.

Somehow, I didn’t capture a photo of the ugly, beat up, brass fixtures we bought for FIVE DOLLARS A PIECE!  But, here they are disassembled for cleaning.  You can see all the stains and rust, can’t you?  Now you know why no one bought them.  It’s hard to see past the ugliness and envision what they would look like with a little elbow grease, a good cleaning and sanding and some spray paint.

Ugly Brass Light Fixtures in disarray

Ugly Brass Light Fixtures in disarray

I got one of those nifty sanding squares at Home Depot and a can of flat black Rustoleum spray paint, and you can see the results.  I have to admit that even I was a little bit surprised at how well they turned out.  Something similar at Home Depot would have cost around $50 or more and trust me, they were nothing special.  But, at least these were kept out of the landfill and have been given a new lease on life.  I love that!

Handy, Dandy Sanding Square

Handy, Dandy Sanding Square

Flat Black Rustoleum Spray Paint

Flat Black Rust-oleum Spray Paint & Primer

Spraying the pieces separately was much easier

Spraying the pieces separately was much easier

And, Ouila! Five Dollar Light Fixtures

And, Voila! Five Dollar Light Fixtures

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