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"Brass coated steel needs to be redone, can I spray paint it?"

February 7, 2010

Hello, I would really appreciate some help on this problem if you please:This dress form I bought recently from a estate sale was terribly neglected for 30-40 years, not cleaned or used, I have gotten the other components clean but I cannot seem to get certain black spots off of the top metal part which holds the form up. I cannot determine what metal it is made out of & the person whom I bought it from had no idea about what it is made out of nor on how to properly clean it. Sorry, it's a bit difficult to explain what I am trying to ask on how to clean thus, please see the picture of a very similar replica to exact dress form's metal clips that I am trying to clean to get a better idea of what I am working with.

My dress form is not as clean on the metal top part as this one in the image I found online but it is the same make, year and material that my dress form is composed of. I accidentally ruined the brass finish on the steel as I ardently rubbed at it (after I removed (using pliers)the metal hinges & screws that attached the metal bits to the fabric top of the dress form. I accidentally ruined the finish by using a lemon, baking soda and salt combo & a new toothbrush (bought only for this 'project' of mine) in attempts to get the black tarnish spots off of it. Now, since I did in fact end up being able to get a considerable amount of the tarnish off but in doing so, rubbing off the brass finish totally from the steel (yikes!) I now just really need to try to just get that brass color back that I non intentionally took off--can't I just spray paint the metal bits I rempved from the dress form a brassy/gold hue? would that work? If it would not work, please inform me what would be the best way & easiest way to go about re applying a brass look to the steel pieces? MANY THANKS :o)

Mischa Protzko
artist - Portland, Oregon

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