Possibly better than a million billion dollars, when my Gram moved outta her Pittburgh home into a down-sized (and super cute) condo, you may remember that I inherited some of her wonderful, original, old-timey and absolutely fantastic stuff. It started with a manila envelope overflowing with my old drawings, photo albums and cards, to a handful of ceramic trinkets – and topped off with the most amazing mustard chair. But perhaps you caught a commenter’s mention of the clock hidden away in the office for months during that whole flood-we-shall-not-mention?
Since then, it’s been tucked carefully in our utility closet, alongside brooms, dustpans and a clothes rack. Oy. And while snooping for lunch the other day, I was immediately snapped back to the reality of it’s awesome-ness when I spotted this photo on our fridge:
The problem is that the photo is over twenty years old (and obvious points aside – only a mini-me is looking into the camera, Gram’s eyes are closed, and my baby sis is slipping away – I love this snapshot with all of my heart), and the current state of that clock is less than ideal.
After scrubbing at unknown, hazy smudges with water, Pledge, and even Purple Power, I began to wonder if the wooden blades could be salvaged. Unfortunately, they’re an MDF with a walnut-ish veneer, so it’s doubtful mineral oils would be of much help.
Even the brassy sunbursts are starting to rust – in more spots than one – and although it’s hard to tell from these photos, the face has odd white spots (perhaps a raw spot in the finish?) and the hands have begun to flop over time. (Ha, time. Get it?) Scott removed the corroded battery and tightened up the screws, and hopefully some new juice will get the guy running again.
Due to the seemingly sad state, we toyed with the idea of painting the wooden blades a shiny white, but would that take away from the sought after mid-century feel? Or what if we fought harder for the walnut finish and sprayed the less-than-perfect brass with a mock gold? What if we painted everything in golds and whites, eliminating the numbers? Would it provide a modern take on a vintage shape?
But then we went and Googled. We pored over images of gorgeous clocks, most of which were found in dumpsters, junkyards, and flea markets. They were all cleaned up (although how, we still don’t know) and hung on fresh, white walls and photographed for us to envy. Of course we stored them away for inspiration – a reminder that white paint doesn’t always save the day. (Will I bite my tongue later?) Here’s some proof:
To say we’re a little confused would be an understatement. To paint or not to paint? We don’t mean to bring up the whole camera debate again, but for reals, y’all, we’re at a complete and utter loss. Or perhaps you know of a much needed magical potion that rubs away rust and tarnish from brass and wipes unknown residues from veneer? Our guts are telling us to restore rather than to reinvent, but what do you think?