Lucky for me the lamp passed all my preliminary tests and I deemed it solid! Then came my ambitious plan of removing the yellowed lacquer and restore the lamp to the original softer brass patina.
My first attempt was to use acetone and a cotton ball but it was really slow to remove the finish. I switched gears to a chemical stripper and lathered the goofy stuff on the lamp. I'm a big baby when it comes to watching these chemicals work so I got impatient and tested a little too early. I panicked a little bit because the underlying brass was so much lighter without the lacquered. I held up a stainless steel knife as a comparison and was relieved to see that lamp was definitely a much warmer color.
After the chemical stripper I simply used an old toothbrush to scrub off the remaining lacquer. The last step was to wipe the lamp down with a damp towel.
The hardest and most time-consuming part of this whole project was trying to find a lampshade without spending a lot of money. I searched online, flea markets, lighting stores and then ultimately found something at Home Depot. It's not perfect but it's a whole lot better than the original yellowed pleated shade.
Overall the project was fun and I’m on the hunt for other castaway 80’s relics. I keep a magnet in my purse just in case I stumble on a potential find!