Brass hardware is a perfect choice of home furniture and fixture, especially if you want additional elegance and flare to your interior design. Apart from having a gold-like appearance, brass is also prized for its durability and corrosion resistance. Unfortunately, unlike other metals, brass is highly susceptible to tarnishing. It can easily lose its luster when exposed to moisture.
Thankfully, the tarnish on brass is not permanent. It can be removed to bring its shiny, stylish appearance back to life. Here are some expert tips and tricks to polishing brass items and preserving their sheen.
Get Rid of the Lacquer
Most brass furniture have been lacquered. This finishing technique involves the application of a clear coat, which protects the surface of the metal from tarnishing. Ironically, it wouldn’t make sense to remove the lacquer to clean off the tarnish since the lacquer was applied to prevent the metal from tarnishing in the first place. However, it is likely that the tarnish developing on your brass item is caused by poor application of lacquer. In that case, you need to reseal it.
The surface of your brass items must be free from both existing lacquer and tarnish. Remove the lacquer by wiping or dipping the item in a thinner solution. Acetone or nail polish remover is a safe thinner for brass. Most lacquer products emulsify in thinner so it doesn’t take special skills to get rid of all vestiges of lacquer. You can use an old tooth brush and a soft cloth to clean your brass items altogether.
Polishing and Resealing
Before applying fresh sealant, polish your brass items thoroughly. This way you can obtain a nice, shiny surface under a new coat of lacquer. Be careful not to excessively buff the brass surface, especially if it’s just a plating, because it might scrape through the plating and reveal a rather uglier layer of the material. When applying the new lacquer, be sure to cover all nooks and crannies so that moisture will not seep through and cause tarnishing from within the sealant.
If you’ve been doing this routine for quite some time and you’re starting to get tired of it, maybe it’s time to let the tarnish run its course. After all, there’s something interestingly special about tarnishing brass. It exudes a rustic aura that gives home an antique appearance, which most families love. If you want to use brass items to make your own furniture and fixtures, be it round or square brass tubing, make sure to go to a trusted supplier like Rotax Metals.
The Best Way to Apply Lacquer to Brass, hunker.com
How to keep the shine on old brass hardware, washingtonpost.com