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Aging Brasses

wood finishing

by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher

When restoring old furniture often some or all of the hardware will be missing. Likewise, when building a new piece, adding new hardware is usually in the mix. From a restorers point of view, there is nothing more annoying than machine polished and lacquer coated brasses on old or new furniture as far as my tastes go. Kind of like "headlights" if you will.

Here are NINE steps to age new brasses to a soft warm glow:

  1. All new brasses have a clear acrylic lacquer over them that you will want to remove.
  2. Using a medium wire wheel attached to a motor, remove the lacquer finish on all of the surfaces.
  3. After removing all of the finish, re-polish the brass using a buffing wheel and rouge to remove the brush marks.
  4. Pour some brass darkening solution, available at Highland Woodworking , into a glass bowl and place a few of the pieces in the solution.
  5. Move the pieces around so the solution darkens evenly and completely to all of the pieces.
  6. If any part of the brasses are still bright, repeat steps 3-6.
  7. After the pieces have turned black, remove and dry with old cotton cloth.
  8. With 4-0 (0000) steel wool, lightly rub the brass until the desired effect is achieved.
  9. Even though the brasses were "repolished" the steel wool produces a soft glow while leaving the brasses darkened in any recessed areas, creating a pleasing contrast.

Visit Highland Woodworking's
Wood Finishing Supplies Department

Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at .

Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

August 12, 2015  Finishing the Finish
August 22, 2015  Finishing 101

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