A Star is Reborn

Each piece in our Antiques & Vintage collection tells a story, and we love being a part of the continued history of every relic that passes through our shop.

This is the story of our favorite new (old) item: the Red, White & Blue Double-Sided Neon Star.

When we found the Star, it was forgotten in a field in Texas. But our savvy Salvage Buyers saw potential in its bones, bringing it home to Portland, Oregon for restoration.

Step 1: The Find

It was love at first sight with this time and weather-worn neon canister, shown here when it was found in Texas.

Step 2: Homecoming

It wasn’t an easy trip for the Star, which traveled more than 2,000 miles in an 18-wheeler to reach our restoration shop in Portland, Oregon.

Step 3: Body of Work

The sign canister, 65 years old, sustained considerable wear and corrosion, as it likely hung outside in the elements. We wanted to stabilize the can, but were afraid of compromising the incredible character of the worn galvanized metal. When we found a stash of old, rusted tin, we knew we could fix the body of the Star, creating a patchwork of patina that would ensure the strength of the can.

Step 4: The Doctor Is In

The Star features 6 glass neon tube outlets on either side, which helped us to date the sign to the 1940’s, and also helped us to determine what sort of neon to use. We keep a local neon doctor on call, who made a shop visit to map out his plan for re-creating the intricate tubing pattern. We decided on two diameters of multi-colored neon: red, white and blue, of course!

Step 5: Let it Shine

There isn’t a more thrilling moment than when you plug in a fully restored neon sign for the first time. Now, with 6 layers of brightly glowing tubing (three on either side), this Star sign will shine for many years to come — the next chapter of the journey that started 65 years ago, continuing again for another lifetime.

Find the perfect story for your home in our Antiques & Vintage department.