Specialists in the restoration of Vintage, Classic and Custom chrome

This is how we restored a vintage lamp in polished dull nickel.


All of the parts are first listed and priced individually, so you know exactly what you are paying for. A copy of this is given to the customer to keep.

This is the lamp as it arrives from the customer. Nothing has happened to it yet.
Before we can restore any parts, we have remove any old plating and get it back to the bare metal. This is done by plating the old finish off in a bath of strong sulphuric acid.
The first polishing operation is termed 'cutting out' or 'bottoming out.' This is where rough abrasives are used to remove all of the marks left by corrosion or damage. We then use progressively finer grades to remove the scratches we have put in during cutting out. We can use as many as seven grades (usually 4 on brass) of abrasives to achieve the 'glazed' finish required for mopping. All polishing work is highly skilled, as inexperience would invariably result in poor results or damage to the part.
This is the last polishing operation before plating. All of the abrasive marks are removed using a soft mop and polishing compounds.
As the process is electrical, all of the parts have to be suspended on copper wire to allow current to pass through them. (The wire is discarded after use). Even this apparently simple process is skilled as incorrect wiring will cause marks, pitting, peeling or an insufficient deposit.
All grease and dirt has to be removed before plating. The only effective way to do this on the varied work we do is by hand.
This 'activates' the surface of the metal (removes any trace of oxide film which may have developed). Oxides on the surface of the metal may result in poor adhesion of the plating.
Here the lamp is being plated with dull nickel. This is the original pre 1930 finish for your brightwork (it is polished afterwards as well). If someone tells you it should be bright nickel the are wrong, as bright nickel was not invented until after 1930. Dull nickel is non-porous, ductile, soft to the touch and offers superior weather resistance to bright nickel. Bright nickel was developed to be applied under chrome.
Parts are dried to remove water from the surface.
This is mopping the dull nickel to give the correct shine (or colour). Hence the term 'colouring.'
Here is the finished lamp in it's original pre 1930 polished dull nickel finish.