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"Oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixture etched by tile acid"


Q. Can I refinish an oil rubbed bronze bath tub newly installed faucet, which cannot be removed, whose finish was damaged as a result of my tile installing person cleaning the grout haze off the newly installed bath tile and splashing the cleaner onto the faucet? If so, what is the process?

Gerald Fleury
Homeowner - Torrance, California


A. It is unlikely that you will be able to perform this work as a hobbyist; regardless if it is installed or not. Oil rubbed bronze is typically a bronze plating over brass or zinc diecast (pot metal). After bronze plating the part is oxidized (darkened) using an oxidizing solution. You don't want this type of compound in your house and it is unlikely you could buy it anyway. The oxidation is then relieved (antique finish) using a buffing wheel or hand rubbing using oil. This is a professional refinishing job unfortunately.

Daryl Spindler
Daryl Spindler, CEF
decorative nickel-chrome plating - Greenbrier, Tennessee

January 28, 2009

Q. I am considering oil rubbed bronze fixtures in a new bathroom addition. Someone told me that the color can run and stain a tub or shower. Is this really true? If so, is there any way to prevent it? I really like the look and it goes well with the planned decor.


Shannon Spice
- Green Bay, Wisconsin

January 29, 2009

A. Hi, Shannon. A true oil rubbed bronze would be an oxidized copper and would be subject to a green runoff as you have probably seen from old copper roofs and statues. But I'd bet that 90 percent or more of such plumbing fixtures have a clear coat on them rather than being the actual living finish.


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

September 3, 2010

Q. I bought a bath tub fixture that is darker than the rest of my rubbed bronze fixtures and I was wondering if there was a way to lighten it up at all.


Sharon George
- Belen, New Mexico

Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucets and Towel Bars Oxidizing

January 17, 2015

Q. Hi all,

Thank you in advance for considering my question. Our 4-5 year old master bathroom has oil rubbed bronze towel bars and faucets. The finish has begun to oxidize in some areas and not others. Is there a product that I can use or service that I can call to help revitalize these areas? The products were made by Sigma. Would it be advisable to use brass darkening solution? One of the worst areas is around the drains of the bathtub, shower and sink. I am amenable to calling someone for assistance, but I am not sure what type of professional service provider I should be calling.

Any and all assistance is much appreciated.

Carli Masia
Homeowner - Lawrenceville, New Jersey

April 5, 2015

This problem is becoming more common with the introduction of copper based products being used in faucet, shower and tub fixtures. Chlorine used in water and calcium buildup will corrode these fixtures. Restoring these oil rub finishes is pretty simple. What you do is remove the corrosion with a mild abrasive material and apply a specialized chemical which will return the brown to black color back to the copper, bronze and even brass.

The Copper Patina Repair kit from BarrysRestoreItAll is specifically designed for this purpose and copper sink refinishing due to damage to patinas from chemical damage. See video at www.barrysrestoreitall.com.

Happy Easter and Passover.

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

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