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"Changing finish on Brass Bed to Antique look"


PROBLEM: The clear finish on my twenty-year old brass bed is worn off in some places, primarily the narrow pipes. Where it's worn off on the narrow pipes, the brass is tarnished and I LOVE it! I want the rest of the bed to look like that. The thicker pieces are bright shiny brass, except in a few places where the clear finish is partly worn off and it's greenish mottled color, and not so nice. It seems as if the finish is thicker on the thicker pipes.

QUESTION: I would like to change the finish on the bed and make it look dark, antiqued, and tarnished, more like an old iron bed. Can I remove the clear finish so it will tarnish naturally without ruining it? Is there a coating I can put on it to change the finish?

Colleen S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Los Angeles, California, United States

April 9, 2008

Hi, Colleen. Ideally, the finish on your brass bed is brass lacquer. If it is, it is easily removed with Acetone [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] or lacquer thinner [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] . If that doesn't want you would need a strong paint stripper like Zipstrip.


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

June 30, 2009

I have a custom made solid brass bed with headboard and footboard, dated 1983. It has large custom painted porcelain balls on the vertical rails at both head and footboards.

20+ years ago it was expensive and beautiful. Now I'd love to give this beauty an updated look. Do you have any suggestions on changing the look of our bed besides selling at a "home sale"? Thank you for your response.

Lorrie Rung
Designer - Solon, Ohio

July 1, 2009

Hi, Lorrie. I would suggest trying to remove the lacquer as described above, and then painting with any color spray paint you like, BUT, regular paints will not stick to brass so you must start with a Self-Etching Primer [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. Good luck with it.


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

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