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topic 12509

Old Brass Table Lamp


Am attempting to refinish a brass table lamp that consists of 3 separate brass castings; probably made in the 1930-1940s. I have buffed it to remove the original damaged finish, including the lacquer. My problem is: how to restore the deep, natural brass patina; buffing left it looking almost like chrome for some reason, Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] does nothing to restore the above brass finish I desire. Is there a way to "age" the brass back to the desired appearance? Any other soultions/suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thank you,

John Arden Nordahl
- Minneapolis, Minnesota


Hi John,

The chrome color you see is likely a zinc or nickel substrate. Buffing the brass may have stripped the brass plating, or the substrate had a brass tinted lacquer covering it. Take it to a polisher/buffer/plater and have it replated or recoated.

Hope that helps.

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
nikolas banner ad


I now find myself confused over removal of plating etc. via buffing? My question is; why would the solid casting be plated with brass? ( I can look inside the casting and see its native, i.e., "raw" color (brass/bronze)... on the other two castings: I have had a little success suspending them over water, which seems to slowly bring the brass color/patina back (?) responses are sought and appreciated

John Arden Nordahl
- Anoka, Minnesota

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