Need help with fern stand - brass and something else?
This fern stand came out of an estate sale at an old Victorian home. Silly me, I thought all the pieces of it were brass (not realizing brass wouldn't rust). I definitely know better now.
I took it all apart so it would be easier to clean it and started out by polishing the legs. Then I started trying to remove all the rust and polish the top and bottom square pieces, which obviously wouldn't polish because they aren't brass.
Now I've ended up with shinier brass legs and dull square pieces. I don't know what to do with it now!
Also, there looks to be what I guess would be pitting on the legs and some green gunk still at the bottom of the legs that I haven't been able to remove.
I'm totally stuck on what to do now and I think it looks worse now than it did when I bought it (at least the coloring was basically uniform then)! I took it to an antique dealer here where I live and she suggested I paint it, but I'd rather not do that unless there are absolutely no other options.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can fix this? Is there a way to repair it without having to resort to painting it?