Would a metallic paint 'restore' this table?

rjingaJanuary 30, 2010

Before I paint it, I did try to clean it with brasso, to no avail. I suppose it's not any type of actual material like brass etc. because the brasso did only a bit to remove the discoloration.

What would work to give this table a fresh look? Or is it unique as is enough to appeal to someone in a shop? It was part of a recent estate sale I got a batch of items from.

I think it's interesting, probably not old or anything.

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Now you're starting to get into an area I know a bit about - the Brasso didn't work because that appears to be only a brass paint on the piece. I would guess it's made from some kind of pot or white metal and that's what's corroding. You'd need to stop that process and seal it before attempting to pretty it up and I'm not really sure that can be done with pot metals.

If you want to expand your repertoire of ways to perk up all these pieces you are buying, you might want to look into Modern Options Sophisticated Finishes. I've used them in decorative painting, even on outdoor restoration projects for customers and the metal patinas are remarkable. The website doesn't begin to do them justice but if you search for images of projects from other painters you'll see better examples.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sophisticated Finishes

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Pot metal doesn't corrode like that...
Does it hold a magnate? It has a lot of very nice detail and Doesn't seem to be bent in any way.
Is that black part raised or rough?
If it is, I would wire brush it and finish in an off white and rub some ocher glaze into the flowers and recesses.
I sure wouldn't do any colors or pearl glazes.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 7:26PM
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I did a magnet test and a magnet does NOT stick to any part of this table. So what does that mean? The black/irridescent(sp) discolored part is not raised and it's also not terribly rough, maybe a bit but not really bad.

It really is a cool stand.I took a few more pics and they show the detail and corrosion better.

The side pieces/flowers are iris

This pic is a view of the underside

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Is it light enough to be aluminum? I have a couple of aluminum bird baths....very detailed like that. and the salts in plant food would make a corrosion similar to what we see on your stand...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 10:52PM
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The fact that a magnet doesn't stick only means it's non ferrous metal - anything without iron in it. Is it heavy or light for the size?

Pot metals do corrode, they get powdery and white, they can get bumpy also. I can't tell if that piece is painted or plated but I'm guessing painted - plating will fall off of pot metals where they corrode, paint will flake and disintegrate.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 10:52PM
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It is actually reasonably heavy. so most likely someone used it as a plant stand and the water drainage/ferts etc would have caused the damage. So how to fix it? before prettying it up?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 5:15AM
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Wire brush the crud off, undercoat with a rust inhibiting product and then paint it.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 10:33AM
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The detail in that casting indicates to me that it was not sand-cast. It was made by some other casting or forming method. It could have been lost-wax cast, which is the height of the art. If it was lost-wax, then it is bronze or high-grade brass, and I would go so far to say that it may have been gilded originally. Look at how the design is carried through to the underside of the surfaces. You would never see that in a repro, would you?
I would file a small amount of material from the bottom of a leg and see if a yellow color or a silver color is revealed. Gold = brass/bronze. Silver = spelter/pot metal/zamak, or aluminium. I think there's a simple test for aluminium.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 11:55AM
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It looks like something is wrong, I think they assembled it wrong or you did if you brought it home in parts. The raised part of flowers should be on top. So when you are standing there looking at it you see the raised flowers. That is why the "top" has all the odd flaking,etc it's the bottom!! Lot of silverplate isn't finished on bottom, it reminds me of that. If plant were on it the water drips would have sat in those spaces & probably eaten it away or rusted it so it couldn't even be sold. I could be wrong but look at it again. Bottoms look good- too good to be bottoms!!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 1:40AM
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But the majority of the detail is on the tops as it's assembled now. The bottom has reduced detail, but still highly finished, the way a top-notch piece should be. I think it would look great re-plated or gilded, with a thick round glass top to protect the metal and permit more room.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 11:12AM
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You can actually see brush strokes on the second set of pics: top closeup. So whatever it is underneath, it was painted at one time.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Rhonda, I wouldn't spend a lot of time OR money on the table. Anyone interested in it might even want it as a DIY. Put it in your booth 'as is' and see if it sells in 2 weeks. If not, I would re-paint w/metallic spray paint then antique~not too much effort needed in that. ;o)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 1:30PM
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It does not work turned the other way doesn't match up. And Casey is correct, the detail is definitely on the side facing up now. (and it was already assembled when I got it)

I think that a little bit of paint to "hide" the darker areas will not take much time nor $$$ but would improve it enough to make it look presentable.

BTW, after scratching off some on the underside, the material is SILVER.

thanks for all the ideas and information. I think it's unique enough to sell.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 6:03PM
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I think it would look wonderful painted white or off white.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 11:34PM
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I had a similar plant stand, gift in early 90's. Verdigris finish. After outdoor exposure 'verdigris' chipped in a couple spots, showed same metal as yours. I spray painted it rustoleum Antique Bronze. Then I got Deco Art Patio Paint in Copper and made a 'wash' by diluting with a little water. Sponged (with black sponge brush) copper wash on high areas as a highlight. Blended well with Antique Bronze.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:58AM
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What did you do w/the little metal table and the marble topped ones? Did they sell already?

I've only sold $55 for this month~things sure better pick up! ;o)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 5:07PM
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You did a test srape on the bottom and found "silver". I think not. I think that you found white metal. If the table seems relatively light for its size and volume, it is probably an aluminum casting. Common "pot metals" can be white in color. A pot metal is a non-specific, low melt temperature alloy. The alloy may contain a varied mix of metals usually chosen for easy castability.

Salts can cause gray discolorations on aluminum - look at an alumimun alloy auto wheel that has run in winter road salts for several seasons. When new, these has a protective clear coat and will retain it good appearance until the coating is breached and then corrosion begins at those breaches. Anodized aluminum has more resistance to salt corrosion, but it too, can be breached eventually.

The decorative design is nice. Before you refinish, clean off everything that will come off. Go easy with wire brushing. If this is soft metal, a wire brush will leave marks on the surface that will mar it appearance. Try this: Soak the pieces in a solvent or paint remover and use a stiff brush (non-metallic bristles) to remove the softened material. Wear protective gloves. Gloves designed for plumbers working with sewer pipe or gloves for use in a parts cleaner tub should do the trick. Thin latex gloves for touching people or dish washing gloves are not robust enough, nor resistant enough to the solvent to protect your hands.

Consider spray painting using several passes of very thin coats. Put on susessive coats before the prior one has become hardened. Brush painting will likely fill in some of the fine detail.

The alternative: Sell it "as is" and let someone else take it on as a pet project.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 1:15AM
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Aluminum will corrode in many strippers.
I suggesgted 2 weeks ago that it was aluminum....
Lots of out-door furniture is...wire brush off the loose stuff and spray paint it....do a glaze if you wish...
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 12:28PM
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jemdandy, not sure what you are implying, but I did scrape off some of the surface on the underside and it was SILVER COLORED. not to imply that it was SILVER. Note casey's suggestion: "I would file a small amount of material from the bottom of a leg and see if a yellow color or a silver color is revealed. Gold = brass/bronze. Silver = spelter/pot metal/zamak, or aluminium"

So indeed it was a silver color!!!

pattycakes: I'm taking the marble topped "night stands" to my booth today. I just sold the darling little bench and ice cream parlor chairs, and now have a nice big open spot to fill up again!! this newest booth has been slow going (only 2 weeks old), but these chairs/bench were my first sale!!! But this sale will pay my rent for the next month and 1/2. so I'm ok with that.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 8:18AM
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