Carlos Castaneda: Vintage Lighting & Antique Hardware Restoration

Carlos Castaneda: Vintage Lighting & Antique Hardware Restoration

Bethany Nauert
Oct 7, 2010

Interested in restoring antique hardware, crystal chandeliers & old door knobs with missing skeleton keys? Here's an insiders perspective on the process of restoration and the craftsmanship he specializes in.

Carlos Castaneda specializes in custom hardware, antique lighting and skeleton & barrel keys. With 16 years experience in the business he has shared his knowledge and tools with me in regards to perfecting and preserving your classical home.

• Lighting fixtures will naturally weather after time, and stripping paint and brass to find the original patina is the most essential part. Once Carlos finds the original patina, he moves on to replacing any missing crystals or decorative pieces from lights/chandeliers. Finally, most fixtures that are 30-40 years old require new sockets and wiring structure, which Carlos can take care of.

• Another challenge Carlos faces, yet specializes in; is converting original European wiring for modern American wiring without jeopardizing the authenticity of the structure itself.

• If you have an issue with a vintage item, don't forget to check with a electrician or inspector for the last time your home was wired properly. It may not be your light or appliance that needs new wires!

• Places to find old pieces like skeleton keys, lamps, chandeliers, old doorknobs, dresser fixtures, etc: antique stores, public estate sales, "going out of business" sales, restoration salvage yards and, of course, the swap meet. (The Pasadena Rose Bowl has a very impressive swap meet every first Sunday of the Month).

• Part of the appeal of a classic home is perhaps the first impression it gives off as you walk up to the front door. If you wish to keep the homes original door and lock, you may need to have an authentic skeleton or barrel key re-cut. It's worth it to have the lock inspected to make sure it's fully functioning. You may need to repair it first, before having the key re-cut.

• If you've found an amazing iron door knob and lock (perhaps at a salvage yard) and you would like to have it installed in your home, Carlos can re-create the key for you.

Carlos Castaneda Antique Hardware & Locksmith
458 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Images: Bethany Nauert

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