The light is long, but it’s not long before it’s gone…

*Lyrics from A Simple Answer off Grizzly Bear‘s latest offering, Shields. I’m a fan of their music, and it grows on me the more I listen to it. Feels new and old at once, and familiar and fresh together. And emotional (and we all know I love emotional). And I always think of London when I hear them – posters promoting their then latest album, Veckatimest, were plastered all over the tube stations when I visited England for the first time ever. So, yeah, I’m a fan. Hope you are, too.

BEFORE: About 12" across, this little tray seemed perfect as a layering piece for the wall.

Have you every wanted to polish something silver-ish, but weren’t sure how, or even if it’d work? As a fan of finding thrift, antique-ish pieces to use as accessories (and even furniture, gasp!), I’m always coming across things that look like they could be silver, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t (the sale tag usually clues me in to that fact). Recently, I spotted a sweet little silver tray that I thought could be used as a mirror-esque item to hang on the wall in the pied-à-terre. (We all know the power of bouncing light around in tiny spaces.) For about $12, I thought, good shape, good size, reflective, textural, I’ll take it! (Jeff said, that’s old, and I hate old anything. I said, too bad, trust me, it’ll be great!)

So, I brought home the little gem, figuring that its character, intricate pattern, and patina would only act as another transitional item that might help visually blend our new things with the entirely old and crumbly existing architecture of the apartment. Only I had no idea how to clean it. So I decided to take a chance on a silver polishing product called NEVR-DULL (yes, that’s right, nevr). Found it at the hardware store that’s directly across from the flat. How convenient is that?

After about 10 minutes of rubbing (rather briskly and with definite force) the product – which seems like it must be some sort of fiber-glass-lambswool soaked in gasoline, coca-cola, rubbing alcohol and vaseline – and after cleaning off a blackened, smeary mess (wear gloves), I was delighted to discover that my little tray had cleaned up quite nicely. It’s clean without any real loss of patina, and the shine has largely been restored to the smooth parts. Did it fix the pits and stains in the finish? No. Did it make something that felt grimy, dirty, and aged feel clean, sparkly, and charming? Why, yes, it did!

It’s nice to know I’m right (again), and it’s extra nice to have found such a useful and beautiful piece for such a small investment in both time and money. So go on, try it out. Especially if you see a sweet little object in need of a little love. Rescue something. It’s totally worth it. xoxo