finishing.com logo
    HOME / sitemapFAQsBOOKSHelp WantedsAdvertiseContact   you are here: Hotline/Forum => Letter 2161
most fun in metal finishing

How can I tarnish or dull bright brass

--

Q. How can I tarnish, or make bright brass dull. We recently installed some doors in our home, they came with bright brass plates and knobs. We hate the shininess, and at the very least want to get rid of that. We'd like to darken the color too, if we can.

Carrie Rice
- Nordland, Washington


++++

Q. I have a similar question - How can I dull the finish on a polished brass chandelier? It is electric, so I don't want to submerge it in water, and was hoping for some solution that I could 'rub' or 'paint' on to dull the very shiny finish and darken it a little.

Heather Dash
- Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA


A. Hi Heather. People can be envisioning rather different things when they say they want to dull the brass, but since you mentioned "rub", there are wax rubs with different tints available. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Rub 'n Buff Sampler


+++++

Q. I would also like to hear the answer to the question "How do you tarnish brass?". I am refinishing an antique desk that is missing one knob. We found a matching knob at our local lumber yard but it is shiny brass. We would like to make it look like the same age as the others. I hope you can help. Thanks, Jim

Jim Eggers
- Fairchilds, Texas


+++++

A. Hi Jim. Liver Of Sulphur [linked by editor to product info at Mister Art] will darken brass (if what you are looking at is actually brass, but it's not always easy to tell).

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


+++++++

A. toilet bowl cleaneramazoninfo

Leave it on for a week and it'll turn it nice and dark

Conversely it'll shine your metal right up if you wipe it on and then right off.

Wear protective glovesamazoninfo (it has acid -- I believe hydrochloric).

I use it to age bronze cymbals. It not only changes how they look, but mellows the tone for jazz and acoustic music.

Miles Fullerton
Fulltone Recording - Corvallis, Oregon, USA


April 4, 2008

Q. I have a light fixture, fireplace doors and bathroom shower doors that have a bright brass finish. I know the light fixture and fireplace doors are actually brass but I am unsure of the shower door metal. I would like to change the finish of each to a antique or dark finish. Do you know what products to use?

Sheryl Wolf
homeowner - Kildeer, Illinois, USA


December 9, 2008

A. You need to make sure it is real brass and not just stay brite over top of some other metal. If it is brass then there is probably a light layer of film over it that stops the brass from tarnishing. Take off the brass fixtures and rub them on a carpet with a generally heavy amount of force. Then try shining it up with Brassoamazoninfo metal polish. if the cloth with Brasso turns black, you should have taken the film off. General use will now tarnish the brass. The oils in your hands help speed along the process too.

James Merritt
- Charlotte, North Carolina


September 2014

A. Hi Sheryl. Unless the shower doors were very expensive (say over $1000), they're not brass; they are anodized aluminum, and can't be darkened except by coating the aluminum with paint, or something opaque or only slightly translucent. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



How to turn brass from bright to a dull gray

Q. What is the easiest way I can treat shiny brass or bronze to turn the finish to a dull grey ? They are already installed on cotton fabric for a historical presentation.

Michael Wagner
- Baltimore, Maryland


September 2014

A. Hi Michael. Well, the easiest way is paint. But the most authentic looking way is probably to "tin" them. We have several letters on line about historical tinning of copper pots and pans. Use those words in the google custom search engine near the top of the page. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



Brass tarnishing solutions won't dull my fishing lures as desired

March 28, 2009

Q. I am a fisherman with a preference to using tarnished brass spinners. I have only five left and the newer spinners I do have refuse to tarnish. They are nickel with a very thin brass plate. Some of the chemical treatments I've tried have either taken of the brass plate entirely, or produced no visible effect. I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me. Thank you.

Donald, 10th Grade, 16 years old

Donald W
student - Olympia, Washington, USA

April 3, 2009

A. Hi, Donald. The bad news is it's probably not brass plating; it's probably a brass-toned lacquer over nickel plating -- which is why the color disappeared when you used certain solvents that dissolved the lacquer. Imitation brass plating is cheaper and more environmentally acceptable than brass plating, so it's getting quite common, but it's obviously a big problem when you want it to act like real brass and it won't.

I would suggest that you try an antique wax rub [linked by editor to Rub 'n' Buff product info at MisterArt] and see how the color looks and how long it lasts. Happy fishing.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



How to dull the bright brass snaps on jacket?

September 10, 2014

Q. I bought a new jacket and it has really bright brass snaps. Any thoughts on how I can dull these?
jcrew.com/womens_category/outerwear/cotton/PRDOVR~19034/19034.jsp

Emily Boren
- Norwich, Vermont
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

ADD a Q or A to THIS thread START a NEW THREADView This Week's HOT TOPICS

disclaim

 seek

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental ComplianceTesting Svcs. & DevicesUsed & Surplus


©1995-2014 finishing.com     -    Privacy    -    Search