I work at a hotel where all the exterior doors have brass hardware. the place is 3 years old and all the door hardware has tarnished. I tried sanding one down with micro-mesh and polish it with Wenol [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] automotive polish. It looked good for about 3 days and it was already tarnished. Is there some way I could electroplate the handles? or is there some kind of coating that will protect them? Thanks Guys.david kierzkowski
motel - sterling heights, Michigan
The hardware was probably originally finished with lacquer over solid brass or brass plate. Due to wear, the lacquer finish has worn off and the exposed brass is now tarnishing. I would suggest sending the items out for stripping and recoating preferably with a clear powder coat.Gene Packman
process supplier - Great Neck, New York
Mr. Packman's ideas are great, but I don't think the Marriot corporation would be too keen on a hotel missing its door hardware, not even for a day. A clear powder coating would give you a durable finish, but when it fails, you will have to remove the door handles again. It sounds like you were on the right track, after polishing the parts, wipe the polishing compound off with a solvent like Acetone [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], and then apply wax or lacquer. I'd attempt this at night when the guests are in for the night. You'll be able to maintain the finish this way, rather than having to remove everything and send it out.
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
I would suggest that you consider replacing the door hardware with some of the newer hardware that has a ZrN finish, rather than a coating over the brass. This is usually a three-tier coating. First, there is a base coating of electroless nickel for corrosion resistance and fill, followed by electroplated chromium, then physical vapor deposited zirconium nitride (ZrN), with a slight carbon content to produce the brass color (ZrN is gold). Most of the new high end door hardware is treated this way.
PVD Consultant - San Diego, California
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