-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry
A website for Serious Education, promoting Aloha,
& the most FUN smiley you can have in metal finishing

on this site
current topics
topic 16792

Changing brass finish


I have three beautiful brass tables. My daughter wants them but doesn't want brass. Is there any way to put another finish on them.

Gayle lce
- Strongsville, Ohio


Basically, paint is the only finish the inexperienced person can confidently do, Gayle. But you can certainly have them replated in chrome, gold, or copper at a local plating shop.

You can patinate them yourself but this might be more for a skilled artist than an average do-it-yourselfer, so it's a bit hard to predict your success. Good luck.

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


I am trying to update my master bathroom and eliminate all the bright brass. I really don't have the money to replace all my sink faucets, shower faucets, tub faucets, shower doors or light fixtures. Also, I do not have the ability to remove the fixtures to soak them in a solution. Is there any product available to a homeowner, which can be sprayed on to react with the brass and change it to something else - maybe remove the brass coating to make it silver or just give it an antiqued look?

Virginia Baier
Homeowner - Atlanta, GA, USA


You could try a Rub'N'Buff [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], although it's far from permanent.

Thanks for visiting Virginia. Here's the thing: if you found some white powder in a basement cabinet, it might be flour or baking soda or plaster of paris or arsenic. And if you don't know what it is, nobody can tell you what to try to bake from it :-)

Unfortunately, real brass or brass plating tarnishes quickly; further, solid brass is expensive and brass plating can only be done from a poisonous cyanide-based solution that shops don't like to use. So there have been tremendous efforts for many years to replace them with brass-toned lacquers, electrophoretic lacquers, zirconium nitride "lifetime finishes", etc. Your shower doors, unless they were very expensive, are more likely aluminum with a yellow dye than brass.

If you know these items to be solid brass there are some available treatments, including Brass Darkening Solution [linked by editor to product info at Rockler]. But brass would not be bright unless it had a highly impervious top coat which you would need to remove before you can patinate the brass. If you can get the coating off, and if the item is still brass colored, you could try to darken it. If the coating on the brass in lacquer, try nail polish remover, which is Acetone [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. If that doesn't remove it, a paint stripper might, but they are pretty noxious.

But unless your bathroom was fabulously expensive it's highly unlikely that all of these diverse items are really solid brass, and the chance of success is slim, and the chances of discoloring something are strong. Don't shoot the messenger.

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

This public forum has 60,000 threads. If you have a question in mind which seems off topic to this thread, you might prefer to Search the Site


Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental ComplianceTesting Svcs. & Devices

©1995-2018, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.