It’s week two of the One Room Challenge! And so far, so good. The master bedroom is slowly coming along. But it’s also been fun getting back into blogging again. In addition to working on the room I’ve been making some design tweaks to this site as well. I feel like my interior design style has evolved in the last year, and also my coding skills. It’s been fun to look back and see how much I’ve grown.
This week for the ORC I’ve dedicated to figuring out all of the lighting. That entails the following:
- ceiling fan
- bedside sconce
- bedside lamp
- vintage lamp
Remember what the old ceiling fan looked like? Yeah, not great.
In a perfect world we wouldn’t have a ceiling fan at all in the master. I would rather have a pretty chandelier over the bed. But, I’m compromising. Max likes to have a fan on sometimes.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of great options for fans out there. But I found a much more simple, black ceiling fan at Home Depot. It was affordable and it works with a remote!
Usually lighting fixtures are fairly easy for us to install. But man, this fan was a little more complicated. We eventually managed to get it up. And I think it makes the room look 100 times better.
Next up was the bedside sconce. We used to have table lamps on each side of the bed. Nothing special, just ones from Target. But you lose precious nightstand space when you have a lamp sitting on it. So, for Max’s side of the bed I thought hanging a sconce would be a fun change and a little more practical. Unfortunately, we were not able to hang one on my side of the bed because the window is right in the way. Otherwise, I would have hung matching sconces.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I found a simple brass sconce at Goodwill for $2.99. I see sconces like this one everywhere. But it was cheap! I also loved that it was simple and made from solid brass. I have been wanting to try a metal aging treatment on some brass and thought this would be a great piece to try it on first. If I really messed it up it would only be a $2.99 loss.
I’ve done some metal working in the past and would usually use Liver of Sulfur to tarnish brass. But it only tarnishes the brass so much, usually to a brown-ish color. I wanted to try to get the brass to tarnish to an aged black color.
After searching a bit on YouTube I found this product called Brass Black. It’s typically marketed to gun owners (I know, I know) so please ignore the packaging. But I thought it would be interesting to give it a try and see how it would perform on my brass sconce.
I took the lamp apart. Admittedly, this is my favorite part because I love seeing how things are made and what goes on behind the scenes.
But before I began tarnishing the brass I tried to strip the lacquer off of the metal by soaking the parts in acetone. Then I scrubbed as much as I could with steel wool to get any remaining lacquer off.
The Brass Black instructions say to wipe the brass black on the object with a saturated swab. Allow to work for 1 minute; rinse with cold water and wipe dry.
It was really cool to see the tarnishing happen. But my results were not stellar. I wanted more even coverage. It was very difficult to get all the lacquer off so I think that’s why the tarnishing process ended up being so splotchy.
After giving it a few too many attempts, I decided to revise my plan. But eventually I would really like to try the Brass Black again. Maybe on something smaller and preferably already un-lacquered.
I always have some black spray paint in the basement so I decided to use what I had on hand to get this project done. I primed the sconce first with a metal primer and then sprayed a bunch of light coats of the black paint.
I wired the lamp back up with a white cord, replacing the gold cord that came with the lamp. The white cord looks fine and actually kind of blends in with the wall color.
But, we’re not going for “fine” here! So I found some fabric wrapped electrical cord online to use for the external wiring. I’m still waiting on it to arrive. So hopefully I will have an update on installing the fabric cord next week.
I then tried my best to find an affordable small drum shade to use with the sconce. But my search did not go well. I finally found a stick lamp at Target that came with the exact type of shade I needed and considered that a win. But how silly that you have to buy the whole lamp to just get the shade. Also, why are lampshades so expensive?! And why can’t I buy one of these drum shades separately at Target?
Anyway, the Target lamp I purchased uses an UNO fitter for the shade and not a harp. So the hole in the middle, spider part of the shade was a bit too large to connect to the built-in harp on my scone.
So I ran to the hardware store and bought two washers. One washer was larger and about the size of UNO fitter hole and the other one was smaller to help secure the finial and keep the shade in place. It was a cheap, simple solution and worked perfectly! Although explaining to the employee in the hardware aisle what I was doing with washers and a lampshade was not that easy.
Like I talked about in my first post, I don’t really want to spend a ton of money on this makeover. So instead of buying a new lamp for my side of the bed I decided to take the one in Elliot’s room. We never used it much in there anyway and I had to take it out of his room because he kept knocking it off the table.
Because of the few falls the lamp has taken I also realized there were a lot of cracks in the shade and decided to get another cheap stick lamp at target so I could replace this shade too. Oh well, since we don’t have matching lamps on each side of the bed at least the shades will match.
Right now the lamp is sitting on Max’s dresser because the nightstand is in the garage in the process of being refinished.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I go thrifting a lot. But I feel like I’ve been getting especially lucky lately. One day I had about 15 minutes to spare before picking Elliot up so I ran into Goodwill, saw this lamp, bought it, and quickly ran out with it just in time to get him.
Once I got home and started cleaning it up I realized there was a signature on it. I’m no expert in mid-century design but I’m good at googling so I did a little digging on the internet. It’s a Martz lamp! How cool! Everything looked original (harp, shade, finial). Although I will probably replace the shade and hold onto the original one.
The only problem was it was missing the knob to turn the light on and off. But that was an easy fix as well. I simply screwed on a replacement!
So that does it for lighting for the room. Think there’s enough in there!? The weather finally looks like it’s going to start warming up here in Madison so I’m hoping refinishing the nightstands this next week *fingers crossed*. And then hopefully I will finish wiring the sconce with the fabric electrical cord.
Thanks for following along on my first One Room Challenge journey. If you want to see all my One Room Challenge posts for this room click here! And please make sure to check out all of the featured designers as well as the guest participants of the One Room Challenge!