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Maybe brass, but how to remove it?


I have acquired a (I think) brass lamp. I can't tell if its actual brass, but there are rust spots along with areas of no brass. I want to strip it and then resurface it with something, not paint, myself. How do I go about removing the brass and what do you recommend replacing the finish with? I would like to do this at home and not have it professionally dipped.

Kelli Adams
CLA Installs - Edmond, Oklahoma


Start with a magnet. If the lamp is solid brass, a magnet won't be attracted. If it is brass plated, then at least some of the parts will probably be steel and the magnet will be attracted.

If it is brass, you'll want to polish it back to brass. If it's plated and the plating has worn through, you cannot restore it yourself. Your only D-I-Y choice would be some variety of paint or tinted lacquer.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


What are the steps in repainting a brass plated lamp? I would like to change the finish to silver. Any recommendations?

Kelly Schroering
- Louisville, Kentucky


Actually, silver is not 'painted', Kelly, it's electroplated; and this is something you can't do yourself at home. So what you would probably want to do is contact a plating shop which does this kind of consumer work.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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