Have you ever found a vintage piece and hesitated to buy it because the brass or metal looks scratched, discolored, or tarnished? We all have! But don’t hesitate. Cleaning vintage metals is actually fairly easy, and totally worth it. In fact, you can save a lot of money by buying the more junky pieces and restoring them yourself at home.
I’ve seen some people just take a can of spray paint to pieces, and that’s fine if your metal is beyond repair but you still cant live without it, but most of the time that isn’t the case. Besides, you’ll never get a true shine like you would with real metal. Instead of reaching for the spray paint, reach for a rag and some polish and see what you reveal.
I got this set of 50s drawer pulls on Etsy for a really great price. At first glance they’re junk, but if you’ve ever restored metals you’d see the treasure underneath that tarnish and “scratches” immediately.
What you need is a metal polish product, like Brasso, and an old rag or two. Oh and some gloves.
Cover the brass in metal polish and rub into the metal.
Then use a soft cloth to buff and massage the metal, you’ll notice black and green residue coming off on your cloth. That’s the tarnish! Keep going.Keep polishing until there is no more residue coming off on to your cloth and the metal is sparkling new. Reapply more product if needed. This can take awhile depending on how tarnished your pieces are, but be patient.
Once all the tarnish is removed, give it a nice little polish with a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue or product.
Tada!! Good as new. Now put down the paint and pick up the polish!