A long, long time ago, we picked up a pair of sconces from a pop-up warehouse sale. We set them aside, even noting in this blog post of yore that they’ll eventually make their way into our bedroom – just a pipe dream in 2014! (As if anyone needed further proof that these renovations don’t happen overnight.) But! The day has come, and these guys have come a long way from this:
MATERIALS + TOOLS USED
2 x wire and plug sets
2 x dimmable light sockets
Spray paint + tape for masking
Metal polish (we use Eagle One Nevr Dull)
Wire cutter + stripper
Phillips head screwdriver
STEP ONE. We wanted to rewire these guys with pretty cloth cord, so we started by snipping off the current one and removing it – and the socket – completely.
STEP TWO. There were a few finishes happening under the hood of these sconces. In addition to a mirrored underside, it had also been painted white somewhere down the line. I scraped off as much flaking paint as I could with a putty knife (and a gentle hand), and I used super fine steel wool to rid the white paint where it had crossed over onto the original metal.
STEP THREE. I carefully taped off everything but the inside, protecting the rod with aluminum foil (worked like a charm!). We opted for a matte black finish, which I applied with two even coats of spray paint.
STEP FOUR. Once the paint had dried, I removed the tape and foil, and Scott polished up the outside using Eagle One Nevr Dull. We are almost positive that these sconces are brass plated, so by no means did we expect them to look like a gleaming beacon of gorgeous gold goodness. Once finished, they looked nice and clean, but they were still pocked with visible areas of wear. They’re vintage; it’s part of the charm!
STEP FIVE. Finally, we ran new wiring using using this same method we did on our guest bedroom pendant. We debated choosing a colorful cord, but in the end, simplicity won out! We’ve been using Snakehead Vintage DIY lighting supplies for years, and the wire + plug sets make the job a snap. We replaced the socket, too, upgrading to this dimmable version. Tip: Electrical tape prevents the cloth cord from fraying.
Because the sconces have a straight bottom that lines up a little too well with the sockets, we picked up these super slim (dimmable!) LED bulbs, which don’t show at all. (When we initially screwed in a regular round bulb, we were able to see the curvature of the bulb itself.) The smooth turning dial on our sockets dim and brighten our bulbs just so – a small luxury.
We love how the light shines straight down, creating the perfect reading-in-bed environment. Scott goes to bed pretty early, and with my light on and dimmed, his half of the bed stays fairly dark.
The curvature of the sconces is a not-so-subtle nod to our round headboard, which was a happy accident! This side of the room is shaping out nicely, but we’re debating on whether or not to hang anything above the bed. While we love our headboard for its unique shape, it has us a little stumped, too. A peppering of art and photographs is always nice, but should we go for one large framed piece? Or, maybe, nothing at all!
What do you hang above your bed?