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topic 9009

Removing paint from brass


My wife and I have recently purchased a new home which was built in 1920 and happens to have the original brass hinges and latches on the kitchen cabinets. However, they have all been painted and we would like to bring them back to their original beauty. What would be the process and the solvents or materials needed?


David Crane
- Lansing, Michigan, USA


G'day David,

Remove the handles carefully and soak them in paint stripper. You can work the paint stripper in with an old toothbrush. The brass will still need some polishing once the paint is removed.

Good luck.

Bruce Jackson
- NSW, Australia


After you've removed the paint, polish them with "Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]" and rub them with a soft cloth, they will get their original shine back.

- San Diego, California



To prevent the Brass from re-tarnishing you may want to treat it with a clear finish. I use "Wattel" Incralac. a spray can form of varnish. After the piece is perfectly polished, wash it in warm soapy water and then rinse off in very hot water and polish dry (blow any droplets from holes or crevices). Spray the coats thinly, 2 or 3, while it is warm. I do it in the warm sun as this prevents the dreaded orange peel.

Frank Johnstone
- Brisbane, Australia

Editor's note: Please visit G.J. Nikolas & Co., Inc. for other options.


I have an old NCR cash register that was painted (circa 1915). The register is made of brass and has been painted a copper color. How do I remove the paint to restore the original brass without damaging the brass?

Patrick Merriman
hobbyist - Birmingham, Alabama

November 23, 2011

I have a brass bell from a railroad engine. When the railroad used brass bells they painted the brass bell to keep them from being stolen. I wanted to remove the paint. This bell is very large. We have tried a general paint remover no luck. Please help

Brenda Hennig
- Shepherdsville, Kentucky

Aircraft Stripper

November 23, 2011

Hi, Brenda,
"Aircraft Remover" (methylene chloride) should be able to remove the paint without damage to the bell, but possibly not without damage to your chromosomes :-) =>

Outdoors only, standing upwind, wearing at least goggles [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] and chemical Protective Gloves [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], if not boots and apron.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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