What I learned last night about cleaning old brass

javaandjazzOctober 8, 2012

I bought this pair of Pairpoint candle sticks at an antique center up in Brattleboro, VT over the weekend. They were coated in black and looked really rough. I figured I could clean them up. I looked up online last night and someone said to mix baking soda with enough white vinegar to form a thick paste and then coat the brass. I let it sit for awhile and then I saw all of the scum melting off. I did it again this morning because there was still some in the nooks and crannies.I was amazed how well they cleaned up. Sometimes I leave brass alone but sometimes you have no choice but to clean it up.They are far from looking perfect but still look a bit unpolished if you know what I mean. Anyway, I just wanted to pass this information on in case any of you are looking for some help.

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Beautiful!!...Yeah I have done the soda and vinegar trick on brass. It doesn't polish but does remove most of the black gook!....unless they have a lot of old wax on them. Then the easiest thing to do is boil them.
Beautiful candlesticks.....!!!!! But they look like perhaps they are bronze and perhaps intentionally patinated? Are they signed on the bottom?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:49AM
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They are signed pairpoint on the bottom. There was also a partial sticker that said lacquered. Linda, this wasn't patina on them. It was a black gunk and you could not see th real finish. They were just awful.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Well...I can't think of any brass signed Pairpoint I have seen....it's mostly silver, bronze or glass....or a combo.
They really really are fabulous!! They personify Arts and Crafts....

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Thanks! That's me arts and cafts!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Fori is not pleased

You seem to have really good taste, J&J. ALways picking up the nice stuff you are! :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Thanks! I have been trying to be selective as a get older. I don't have that msuch space. Sometimes if I bring something in, something has to go, so we either sell at a fleamarket or on craigslist.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 4:46PM
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The decoration suggests there were for candles in a church.

The 'lacqured' sticker indicates that originally, the finish was protected by a coat of laquer. If the lacquer coat is gone, after cleaning, brass and bronze can be kept nice looking by applying automotive wax. Do not use a cleaner wax; it contains abrasives. The wax will polish up nicely, and it can be removed with warm water and detergent and re-waxed.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:17AM
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They look bronze to me, they are a little pinkish. I agree they look like religious pieces.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:18AM
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