World's top finishing resource since 1989
Chime right in - No login req'd
How to fix pewter that turned gold color
Current question and answers:January 19, 2021
Q. I have a Rawcliffe Pewter potpourri bowl that I used to hold baking soda to absorb odors.
The pewter cover corroded (bluish white) after so many years. To remove the corrosion, I soaked it in Coke and the remaining "stuff" I rubbed with a bit of lime juice. Brushed the shadows with a soft stainless steel brush.
It cleaned up well but it is no longer gray. It's now a light yellow gold. What happened? Does this mean it wasn't pewter at all?
And! Can I get the gray color back?
- Manila Philippines
Previous closely related Q&A's starting in:2005
Q. I am trying to refinish what I thought was a pewter soap dish. As a child it belonged to my grandmother; my mother then received it and she painted it with a gold spray paint. I wanted to get it back to it's original pewter (or whatever) finish. I tried paint stripper most of it came off, but it was very black. My husband took it to work and bead blasted it (like sand blasting). It turned a gold color. I have tried everything I know to get it back to the original pewter color. What can I do? What made it turn to a gold color? Thanks for any help you can give me.Kay Lowe
collector - Saint Joseph, Missouri, USA
A. I doubt that bead blasting would contaminate the surface and cause a gold color, so my conclusion would be that the soap dish is made of brass not pewter. Perhaps it was tinned brass and the bead blasting removed the tinning? Look up "tinning of copper" here or on google and see if you want to try doing that or having it done. Certainly a plating shop could tin electroplate it for you.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha