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How to Age Brass for A Classic Look

20 May 2011

How to Age Brass for A Classic Look by Stacy

Hi Remodelholic followers! I am Stacy from Red Door Home, a stay-at-home mom who loves refurbishing vintage and thrift store finds, budget decorating, DIY projects, and sewing. I have been a follower and admirer of Remodelholic for quite some time so when Cassity invited me to guest post today I was thrilled and honored.
I noticed recently that brass seems to be making a comeback in the design world – showing up quite frequently in shelter magazines, blogs, show houses, etc. I am not talking about the shiny lacquered brass from the 80’s but rather the aged, “been around for a while” looking brass.
Having owned my share of brass fixtures, lamps, and accessories, I will be the first to admit I go back and forth on my opinion about brass – sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t and my feelings seem to change depending on the room in which it is being used. What I am quite certain about, however, is my dislike for shiny, lacquered brass – the type my table lamp (shown below) is made from.
To remedy the situation I decided to do some internet research to find out how I could age my brass lamp. The technique shown below can also be used for candlesticks, door knobs, etc. – the key is to make sure the item you are working with is brass.
Nail polish remover
Apple cider vinegar
Final stripping pads
Paper towels
Take lamp apart.
Place a small amount of nail polish remover on stripping pad. Gently rub to remove lacquered finish. It is important to use a very fine grade of stripping pad so that you do not make scratches in the metal. Note: final stripping pads are the equivalent to 0 gauge steel wool and look like the green scouring pads used for cleaning dishes.
Once all lacquer has been removed, wipe brass with soft cloth, soap, and water to remove any nail polish residue. Dry.
Place lamp on towel and slowly pour a small amount of apple cider vinegar over the brass. You may want to place a piece of plastic under the towel to prevent the vinegar from soaking into the table or floor surface. If you are using a candle stick or something similar you could soak the item in a container rather than use the method shown here.
Let sit and add additional apple cider vinegar until desired finish is achieved. I discovered the brass which was in contact with the soaked towel aged fairly quickly. Thus, I kept turning the sections of the brass which had not aged so that they were in contact with the soaked part of the towel.
If your brass turns green – like mine did – simply wipe clean with a damp cloth.

The result – a lamp which now looks like it has been around for many years.
Thanks Cassity for allowing me to guest post today! If you use this tutorial for a project of your own I would love to see it. Also, I hope you will stop by Red Door Home for more creative inspiration for you and your home.


classic • casual • home May 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM  

Such a pretty lamp! If it starts to get too dark, Bar Keeper's Friend works well to clean it. In fact, I got a brass tray that was too aged (black) at the flea market and just cleaned it. Love your striped carpet, too.

Gracefully Vintage May 20, 2011 at 10:17 PM  

love the new look.. Just amzing.. great style and thanks for some inspiration

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