Pipe: Is it copper? How to refinish? Help!

simonebAugust 22, 2008

Hi all,

We have a long pipe (floor to ceiling) in our apartment. We *think* it is copper. It looks to be a dark brown color now (not sure if it is paint or what). A magnet won't stick to it and our apt was built in 1923 so copper seems plausible. Does anyone know how I can tell if this truly is what it's made of? And, if it is copper, how do I make it look shiny and new?


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Get some Brasso (or similar brass/copper polish. Apply to a small section of pipe with a piece of cloth; rub for a few minutes. If it's copper, you'll know it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 5:49PM
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I'm going to try this -- thanks. If the pipe is painted (I can't tell... lots of dirt and stuff...) is it OK to sand a copper pipe?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:06AM
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scratch it with a butter knife. rub it with a brillo. try the brasso. If it is copper you can sand it. You could polish it up like a stripper pole if you wanted to, but if the brown color you describe is just the deep brown color of the oxidized copper surface, remember that it took 80 years to get that way and you may find yourself wishing you'd have left it alone. I'd try just cleaning it first and then ponder if I wanted it polished shiny.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 2:47AM
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try a Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scour Pad # 223 ( green in color) which can usually be found at lowes.
these pads are very aggressive. I use these pads for cleaning copper before soldering

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 5:16AM
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