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Lacquer Removal from Brass Hardware


Q. Our brass outside door hardware appears to have been lacquered originally, but the lacquer is worn off in spots. When I polish with Brasso, the parts where the lacquer is worn off shines nicely, but the blackened lacquer parts don't respond at all. How can I remove the remains of the lacquer and get down to solid brass. Then I can polish and clear coat it.

Edwin Felch
- Blacksburg, Virginia, USA


A. Dear Edwin,

Try using some Acetone [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] to strip the remaining lacquer off of your piece. If that doesn't work, it's because the coating was baked on, you'll need to get a stripper with methylene chloride in it. These are both dangerous chemicals, you must use them in an area with ventilation, and you need a respirator. I strongly advise you to find more information about methylene chloride before using it, this may be a carcinogen. Once you get it all stripped off, continue polishing with Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], then clean with acetone to remove the compound off the piece, clear coat and you are done. If you don't want to go through this trouble, try a polishing shop in your area.

Good Luck

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.

Bellwood, Illinois

May 10, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I found what I believe is a hand-made spittoon. I cleaned it then put lacquer on it, now want to take it off.
Thank You

Brenda Jones
- Hubbardsville, New York, U.S.A.

May 11, 2012

A. Hi Brenda.

If you put actual brass lacquer on it, it should be readily removable with acetone as suggested by Jake. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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