I have painted DD's 1940's highboy white and now want to clean/polish the pulls before installing. Does anyone have any recommendations what product to use?
I'd remove them completely from the drawer (just remove the screws) and then use Brasso. Just a guess. Looking good! What paint did you use?
If they are brass I would use NevrDull. It is batting type stuff impregnated with an oily type polish. .I find it at hardware and HD type stores- it is sold in a metal can. An antique restorer recommended it to me and I have been using it for years.
The advantage is- it doesn't drip or get stuck in crevices. and it works great! You tear off chunks and use it to polish brass- nothing else needed.
I use it on my antique brass doorknobs I don't take them off and it gives a gentle soft polish.
I took my hepplewhite pulls completely off, used brasso to clean them, then used a spray poly to seal them, so I don't have to do it again. :0)
What kind of spray poly do you use? It sounds like a good solution to not having to polish so often.
I wouldn't use a spray poly, or any kind of sealer. It will cause them to tarnish unevenly. You want a nice all-over patina.
I used Krylon. I also have solid brass house numbers and haven't polished them in 19 years......since I coated them in poly! If something tarnishes, it means it's NOT sealed,it's exposed to air and water. Sealing keeps an item from tarnishing. Just do a good job. :0)
Brasso. Love Nicole's idea of using a sealer too.
I don't know if they are brass or not--unless it's a white brass? They have a silver finish--like a nickel or stainless steel. Not sure if it's tarnish or crud build up. What type of metals were typical during that time period--1040's?
If so, can I still use the Brasso or NevrDull? I'm not so sure if I want to spray poly on them or not.
As for paint for my highboy, I used the Stain Impervo by Benjamin Moore. It's working really well so far--though for my painting ability I find it best to work in sections. Hopefully will be done later today so I can clean the pulls and put them back on.
Will be sure to post finished pics in a couple of days.
Opps sorry for the type-O's!
I mean 1940's and Satin Impervo.
Back to painting and then HD.
I bought a 40's - 50's Penn House cherry hutch that had nice heavy brass pulls, but they were so dull and crummy. I have a lot of polishes because I collect antique metalware and sometimes there's no avoiding cleaning certain pieces. Maas, Brasso, Weiman's, Hagerty to name a few. Nothing cleaned them. Finally I was at the grocery store and saw Twinkle cleaner. Never heard of it, so tried it. Worked like a charm, and they came out with that nice warm look of heavy vintage brass.
Given the age of the piece, my hunch is that the pulls are all brass. (Check by using a magnet. If it pulls, you have some other metal there.)
In terms of refinishing the brass, I have done (and HAVE HAD done) a lot of brass over the years. My favorite approach is to taken them to a metal refinisher and have them do it! I have had brass refinished to patinas ranging from oiled rubbed bronze (almost black) to a bright shiny brass. In my neck of NorCal, the place I go to is Mac the Antique Plumber. I bet you could call them for a local rec.
In terms of DIY, I have had luck with many brass cleaners, but not with home applied lacquers. (They haven't lasted or worse, end up streaky after a few months). Thus, I would either hire the job out, find a lacquer that really does work on metal,or just clean the knobs and let them slowly lose their luster (which isn't a problem per se, but does change the appearance.)
Below is a link I posted on another thread. It has great info on cleaning Brass.
Taken from it is this quote: 'Also, if you polish your brass every single week with acidic compounds, the copper can leach out of the alloy (brass is an alloy of copper and zinc), and the blue-green verdigris can develop more quickly than usual.'
Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning Brass