Cleaning Stained Vintage Brass - A Tutorial
|Hollywood Regency Floor Standing Solid Brass Candlestick Holders|
|Patina is one thing, stains are another.|
The tallest candlestick stands 26 3/8 inches , the medium candlestick 21 1/2 inches and the smallest 18 inches tall without candles. These mid century solid brass Hollywood Regency style vintage candle holders were meant to be elegant and beautiful - to make a visual statement. To have a presence in a room.
Taking this into consideration, I decided to polish.
All three had staining similar to the one pictured here on the left. Who knows what from or how deep the reactive stain reached, committing to them was a risk.
I knew I could use a commercial brass cleaner and 0000 fine steel wool, available in the grocery and hardware stores. Very expensive and who wants that in their kitchen sink and going down the drain? As many of you know, last year I moved from Orlando, Florida to the mountains of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Moving to a more natural location has heightened my senses to be even more ecologically minded in the way I live. Our cabin, on septic, is located right across the road from the Taccoa River, so I wanted to be ecologically responsible in my choice of treatment.
I found several web and blog sites recommending this or that all natural treatment. What was lacking was examples of how well the suggested treatment worked as well as before and after photographs. Several of which didn't work, or didn't work well enough to deal with the staining on my brass candle holders. I'll talk more about that later. Let me share what did work the best first and what you'll need to get started. Relax it's all natural and probably in your kitchen pantry right now!
Things You'll Need
- Spoon - I used a stainless steel spoon, a wooden spoon would work also.
- Flour - I used regular unbleached all purpose flour.
- Kosher Salt
- Vinegar 5% to 6% acidity - I used cider vinegar but you could use white vinegar.
- Bowl - I used a plastic mushroom container which I wash and keep for projects like this.
- Cotton Swab - To apply the paste directly on the stain.
- Sponge - to apply the paste for over all treatment.
- Olive Oil - to protect the metal from the air after it has been cleaned and polished.
Step Two - Stain Treatment
|First application of paste on stains.|
|Darn those stubborn stains - many will require more than|
one treatment. This is after the first treatment.
Step Three - Overall Treatment
|After spot treating and one overall treatment.|
|This is what the finish looks like when unevenness|
is smoothed out with a jeweler's cloth. Note not all of
the patina has been removed.
|Before and after in the bright sun light. Inside you|
see a rich warm glow from the brass.