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All my door handles are bright brass and I don't want to rebuy because of the cost. The house is about 15 years old. Can I refinish them my self in antique bronze?
This from Wyatt Myers on-line Editor, Workbench
If you’ve grown tired of your old brass hardware, you can “age” it to create weathered or antique brass. This is possible with brass aging solution, an acidic solution that oxidizes solid brass, giving it a more appealing look.
After soaking hardware in lacquer thinner, scrub each piece with a brass brush to remove the lacquer.When soaking the hardware in the solution, you can use the screw as a handle for holding it safely.Run the hardware under water to stop the oxidizing. Then rub it with Scotch-Brite to create a brushed look.
Before aging your hardware, the first thing you need to do is remove the protective lacquer coating. Then fill a jar with the aging solution, and drop in the hardware. (This is pretty caustic stuff, so make sure you’re wearing heavy rubber gloves and a protective mask and working in a well-ventilated area.)
The solution works surprisingly quickly, and if you leave the hardware in too long, it can actually turn black. So watch the hardware carefully until it turns the color you desire. For example, with the brass knobs we aged, the hardware took on the “antique” brass look in about four minutes. In 10 minutes, it looked like the “bronze” sample.
Once you get the look you’re after, remove the hardware from the solution, and rinse it under hot water to stop the oxidizing process.
The brass should now be a solid dark color, but you can add interest and create a “weathered” look by brushing the surface with a fine piece of steel wool or an abrasive pad (like Scotch-Brite). Then you can preserve the new look and add sheen by spraying on a few coats of lacquer. Just choose glossy or satin lacquer, depending on what type of sheen you want.
Brass aging solution is available from a number of hardware supply catalogs and on-line sources, such as Rockler (800-279-4441, Rockler.com). There’s also a nickel aging solution if you’d like to change the appearance of your nickel hardware.
Have a nice weekend,
on line Editor, Workbench
Thank you so much for the information. Hopefully, this will save me a lot of money.