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topic 11684

Brass finishes


Dear Sir/Madam,

I have a fireplace screen that I thought was brass. We recently purchased a 1942 house and the screen came with it. Nothing had been cleaned or taken care of in a long time. When I started to wipe the edges, I noticed what looked like brass under years of soot and dirt, etc. I bought some brass polish and followed the directions for polishing. The "brass-like" finish rubbed off in some areas and appears to be plain old metal. Is there something I can use to make it look like brass again?

Thank you!

Xan Eriksson
- Portland, Oregon, USA


Sorry Xan, it needs to be replated, and that must be done by a plating shop. The cost may be prohibitive unless this screen is very important to you.

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


It sounds as if your screen is actually "brass plated". Over time the plating wears through. Yes, that probably is plain old metal underneath (probably steel). It would be far more expensive to have it stripped and re-plated than to go buy a new one (economy of scale - plating 10,000 parts in a production lot is much less expensive per piece than to do only 1). Sorry for the letdown - hope you weren't too attached to the screen.

Dan Brewer
chemical process supplier - Gurnee, Illinois

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