plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Badly Tarnished Brass
I have an 18th century lamp with brass parts that have oxidized so bad I can't get them clean. It belonged to my husband's family and I would love to restore the brass. The remainder of the lamp is two shades of etched colored glass that is beautiful and the entire lamp is very ornate including the brass parts which makes it extremely hard to clean unless I could find a very powerful dip.
Can anyone help? At this point the lamp might as well be trashed. Thanks,Nan Anderson
- Clemmons, North Carolina
I have experimented with a lot of brass cleaning products on really crummy oxidation. One sequence I have found to be helpful is to start out with a wet paste of
'Barkeepers Friend [on
Amazon affil link]' powder on an old Terry Cloth washcloth and rub the Heck out of the piece. You better have on some rubber gloves [on
Amazon affil links] as it eats your skin up if used for any period of time. We used to be able to find Twinkle brass & copper [affil link] which worked as the next step but haven't found it lately. We had to substitute
Wright's Copper Cream
Amazon affil link] which I think worked
better than Twinkle actually. How you proceed from step 3 is up to you. I have tried motorized polishing bonnets with bar abrasives for polishing metal of different grits, as well as Dremel [on eBay or Amazon affil link] bonnets with Maas metal polish [adv: Maas on eBay or Amazon] , Wenol [adv: Wenol on eBay or Amazon] , etc. and they all work well. I think the Brasso [on eBay or Amazon affil link] liquid product works OK but not as highly polished as you get maybe with MAAS metal polish. You want to thoroughly wash off any residue and spray a protective clear coating on when you are done. I am still hunting for the perfect clear coat.
- ORLANDO, Florida
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