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clean a stiffel lamp?

Posted by andrelaplume2 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 4, 11 at 0:15

My inlaws bought a pair of new stiffel bright brass lamps a decade ago or more. I always thought these were the best lamps you could get but in oticed they started to look crackled. I did some research and discovered they are likely zync, brass plated, coated with laquer and the the crackling I am seeing is likely the laquer starting to come off.

Anyway...is there a simple way to clean these up or must the laquer be removed, the brass shined and the lamps resealed with something....this seams rediculous for such expensive lamps.....heck I could get junkers that look better and replaced them every few years....what am I missing here....whats the aura around stiffel all about if the they are pealing...THANKS!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: clean a stiffel lamp?

Stiffel lams should be solid brass, not plate.

If a lacquer protective coat has crazed i must be removed with lacquer thinner, the surface cleaned completely, and then a new coat can be applied if desired.

You do not need tinted lacquer, just a smooth coat of sprayed on nitrocellulose lacquer.
Deft clear wood finish in an aerosol can is suitable.


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RE: clean a stiffel lamp?

The page linked below suggests you may be right about them being plated - not sure how credible this is.

Lacquer does wear off in certain circumstances - might be climate related as one person in the linked thread mentions seaside living for example. Not sure what else might be the cause, or maybe just a bad batch of lacquer.

Karin L

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread about lamps


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RE: clean a stiffel lamp?

Just use lacquer thinner (outdoors) to strip any remaining lacquer, polish the brass, and spray a new coat of lacquer.

You cannot 'polish' lacquered brass.
Any attempt will start to remove the lacquer.

Once all the lacquer is removed, it is like any other brass object.

deft 'clear wood finish' in the aerosol can is lacquer.


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