February 1st, 2010 | Uncategorized

Wash, rinse, repeat: Restoring the Morse brass lighting fixtures

Grand Light, the lighting restoration and repair shop on Grand Ave., has taken on a daunting project: cleaning and refinishing the lighting fixtures of Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges, including 10 massive cast brass sculptures. The business added an extensive post about the new project on its blog, saying that “the project specifications required cleaning and conservation of the artists original finish.”

From the Grand Light blog:

After testing 9 cleaning formulas and 4 methods of application, it was apparent that the existing finish condition of fixture Type AD3 was extremely resistant to a normal restoration clearing and conservation processes and therefore ineffective in achieving any noticeable change. The normal process was only effective for removing a very light brown film, but ineffective for removal of the extensive surface oxidation and deep stains.

Subsequently Grand Light’s craftsman sampled additional cleaning processes including multiple hand applications of various 3M Scotch Brite pads. These abrasive steps with an inspection and rinse with a proprietary cleaning blend in between removed the deep stains and the heavy surface corrosion levels by a minimum of 60-80%. These additional steps and redundancy were necessary in minimizing any finish damage while attempting to reach the original finish level.

Click here to view Grand Light’s photo-documentation of the eight-step process it’s using to clean the Morse and Stiles dining hall lights.