Alabaster is a form of gypsum. Its pearl-like and translucent qualities made it an early substitute for stained glass and an attractive stone to carve into cases, votive holders and lamps. The stone may form the entire lamp body, or may be incorporated as the shade only. Damaged alabaster lamps may be turned to hide the damage, but if the lamp is viewed from multiple angles in the room or the damage is extensive, restoration is imperative.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Epoxy glue
- Fine grit sandpaper
Inspect the alabaster for cracks, breaks and holes. Feel the inside of the lamp to determine the depth of cracks and holes.
Glue broken pieces if the breaks are clean. Squeeze a sparing amount of epoxy onto each side of the break. Bond pieces by holding them gently but firmly.
Fill holes and cracks. Create alabaster dust as fill material. Drill a hole in an inconspicuous area. This may be inside the lamp or at the bottom of the base. Gently drill a small hole without going through the alabaster; chips and gouges may cause holes or deep divots.
Mix the dust with epoxy glue. Squirt epoxy onto a non-porous surface and blend dust and epoxy with a toothpick. Apply the epoxy to the divots and holes. Allow lamp to dry. Use the instructions on the epoxy package as a guide.
Gently sand excess epoxy from dried alabaster with fine grit sandpaper.
Return the lamp back to its place of honour on the table or wall where it is displayed.
Tips and warnings
- If alabaster is damaged beyond repair, look for donor parts. Scour the Internet, antique stores and restoration companies for suitable replacement parts or a donor lamp.
- Apply gentle pressure when operating a drill to prevent piercing all the way through the alabaster.
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