finishing.com -- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

HomeFAQsSuggested
Books
Help
Wanteds
Advertise
on this site
FORUM
current topics
Live! From beautiful Pine Beach New Jersey: Welcome to the world's most popular metal finishing website

topic 18518

Refinishing old metal lamps


2002

Hi,

I have an old floor lamp that my grandmother has given to me. It is really old because it has cloth covered wire. It is a bronzy, goldish color but it has tarnished. How can I find out how to refinish it? How can I tell what type of metal it is or if it is a painted goldish color? Help!

Thanks to all who respond.

Jolene H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Wetmore, Michigan


 

The simplest test is a magnet; if it's magnetic, it's iron-based, that is, steel or cast iron. In that case it could be either painted or brass/bronze plated. If it's plated, it's unlikely you can restore it yourself because the plating is probably gone in spots. So if it's magnetic and you don't want the expense of plating you would probably have to paint it.

If it's not magnetic, then it's probably solid brass/bronze and you can restore it with metal polishes. Try a mixture of vinegar and salt on an inconspicuous area; this is a very aggressive tarnish remover. Then try finishing up that area with Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon].

It goes without saying that if you suspect an item is really valuable that an amateur shouldn't fool with it for fear of spoiling its value. Good luck.

There are hundreds of letters on line here about restoring brass and bronze items if you have the patience for a search.

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



If you have a question in mind which seems off topic, please Search the Site

ADD a Q, A, or Comment on THIS topic START an UNRELATED topicView CURRENT HOT TOPICS

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


©1995-2019 finishing.com, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About finishing.com   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.