DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

How to Polish Brass

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Step one,

soak and scrub in a hot, soapy water solution.

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Step Two

Then soak in a vinegar, salt, and water solution. The piece will come out kind of red-ish. I had to soak in 2 stages in order to get the whole lamp done.

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Step Three

After the lamp came out all red looking, I took a cotton rag (old t-shirt or sock) and used this metal polish to restore the shine.

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Here you can see one side is polished and the other isn’t. It shines up so nicely from the red color.

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And ta-da, the once brown lamp is brass once again.
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A few tips:

  • I used about a quart of vinegar for 2 gallons of water
  • Really hot (boiling) water worked much better/faster.  I think the hot water is key.
  • Check your polish to ensure it leaves a silicone residue to protect the finish.  Otherwise you will have to use a wax or silicone tarnish prevention sealer

Other Methods:

I tried several methods to remove the tarnish and the soaking in a salty vinegar solution really worked the best.
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1) The ketchup method:

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Things got sticky and ketchup is basically just vinegar and salt anyways.

2) Baking soda and lemon juice
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It fizzes a lot so be careful. The baking soda gives a good amount of grit to scrub with without harming the brass but scrubbing is way more difficult than soaking. I used the post-fizz paste on a toothbrush to get into the groves which was useful on some other brass pieces with deep groves.

Categories
Advice, antiques, Revamp

    2 comments already | Leave your own comment

  1. 6/20/2013 | 5:24 pm Permalink

    Don’t mind the backdrop of our half finished kitchen, and ugly backdoor.

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    • 6/21/2013 | 10:01 am Permalink

      yeah..also the ugly pictures because there isn’t enough light in the kitchen at night… We’ll get there 🙂

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