Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lamp Creations

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Please enjoy one of our weekly articles from one of our Shop Owners -Jacque of Lamp Creations - Thank you Jacque!

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BUY GREEN AND KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE WHEN YOU BUY YESTERDAY'S AND TODAY'S TREASURES

In these tough times we want to get the most for our money, help save the planet, reuse, restore, recycle, and keep our family safe. Often when we buy yesteryears' products, there's a nagging question about use and safety.

Love that wonderful crackling paint on shutters, doors, window frames, and furniture? We may know it is old, but how old is the paint? Lead was used in paints for many years. The paint industry started to regulate the lead in paint during the 1950's. When we have vintage or antique items, it's possible to contain lead.

How do we know if it has been painted with an unleaded paint? How do we know if the coat underneath this coat is not lead? The answer is we don't. To be on the safe side we have several options. If you love the finish, then put a couple of coats of latex flat clear coat over the paint. You still have the crackle effect, but the chances of the paint chipping will be contained.

We can paint over the item and still see the crack and crinkles. To add durability we can again put a clear coat over the paint.

Another option is to refinish and put a new coat of paint, stain, or other finish on the item. Please, please, use a mask when sanding or using a paint remover. Use rubber gloves and work in a well ventilated room or outside. Keep your children away from the area and clean up after your self getting all the chips, dust, and mess picked up by using a plastic liner so it can be thrown away.

When buying something new, that looks old, check where it was made. Some of today's items are made in China. Many dishes, plastic, teapots, cups, saucers, bowls will have a sticker on them to not use, for display only. This is often an indicator that they may have lead or other dangerous substances that can leach into food placed in the container. Mark these so that someone else will not use them by mistake. Don't let children play with them. They may put them in their mouth, drink from them, or otherwise ingest the chemicals.

Begin to look at items you love and open your mind. These treasures may be used another way. Love grandma's dishes, but they are stuck in the cupboard where no one can see them? Hang them on the wall in a collage of dishes. Baskets can be placed on walls and used as shelves. Learn to recycle and reuse in extraordinary ways. Empty frames look great on the wall and can "frame" other treasures. All sorts of vintage and antique items can be recycled into lamps. Make a small scene using old jewelry, gloves, perfume bottles, compacts, and other trinkets. Half the fun is coming up with the idea to reuse your favorite things. Just keep safety in mind. It's your family's health you are considering as well as you own enjoyment.

Please vist Jacque at Lamp Creations


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