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Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Posted by seaswirl (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 11:12

I just bought this lovely antique cherry bedroom set from Craigslist. Thought I'd polish the hardware. Dunno. Your thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I would, but I suspect I'm very much in the minority.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Polish it but not to a shiny bright color. Leave some patina, which adds character. That is GORGEOUS furniture.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

If it is a real antique then you shouldn't touch it at all. However, it looks young enough that you can polish it. But I agree that the super shiny brass looks too new for the piece. If you do go super shiny, you can varnish it to keep it from tarnishing again.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

A BIG vote for Patina -- unpolished and well-loved! :)


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I know I am in the minority but I love the polished look on your lovely bedroom chest. With that being said I do like unpolished brass as well.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Either - unless a genuine antique - I love both...do what you love....although since you've already started, you should finish the job. Let them age over time if you end up regretting the effect. Agree, beautiful piece - would love to see the rest of the set! Did you get a great deal $?


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I polished my kitchen knobs and what a difference....loved it. So I would polish the pulls on your furniture. In the days when I had brass candlesticks (which I still have in storage), I always had them polished to a shine.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Just wash them in dish soap and water. You'll remove sticky finger stuff and that alone will brighten them up.

Those handles were never meant to be super shiny. If the piece was mahogany - yes, shiny. Your piece (are you sure it's not Ethan Allen maple) needs the contrast of the darker patina.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I have the same pulls on my bedroom set, it was my grandmothers, when she passed i could't sell hers, so sold mine. I love the pulls tarnished. But what matters is how you like them.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I love the patina, but you have to live with your choice.

It looks like you have already stripped one, no?


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

It is always okay to polish the brasses. Choose your preference. As has been said, they will tarnish again in time. No harm, no foul. You do not want to refinish the wood of a valuable antique, but otherwise, no worries.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I had the same thought as jmc01, as I have an Ethan Allen dresser that is very similar, with pulls that look identical. I was missing one pull, contacted Ethan Allen and they put me in touch with a company that makes identical pulls.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Brass is meant to be polished, and real polished brass has a deep lovely color that is not shiny "gold." I would polish.... They'll get tarnished again soon enough.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Yes KSWL, I have an antique brass oil lamp and it is a beautiful warm color. I love it!


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

LOVE the dresser, HATE those little eagle pulls. Depending on how the finish is under the pulls and how the pulls are made, I broke the little eagles off and just used the pull with the connectors on the drawers. I can post directions if you are interested. I know it sounds a little crazy but I just can't stand those little eagles!


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

There are some items that have a patina that give them a certain dignified, aged flair. IMO, these handles do not qualify. We've had similar hardware and if you look closely, there is often gunk trapped in all the corners and the dark color just emphasizes a "dirty" feel more so than a charming look. Just because something has a "patina", it doesnt always add to the appeal, depending on context. That's JMO, of course.

This post was edited by Mmmbeeer on Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 22:28


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

Those little eagles are not my favorite style either, but they serve an extremely important function as backplates in keeping oily, moist, soiled hands from degrading the finish on that gorgeous wood. I learned my lesson the hard way in having no backplates in my last kitchen. You can bet that the new kitchen does.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I would just clean them and leave them as they are. I am not a fan of shiny. I think it would take away from the look of the piece.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I agree about no back plates in the kitchen but a bedroom should not have near as much wet/greasy soil as a kitchen. I'll take my chances-little eagles need to go!


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

I have the companion pieces to the dresser that my mother bought for me in 1965. At one point, the dresser was near a west-facing window, and so received a lot of strong sunshine. If anything similar happened to yours, I'll bet there is an outline of the pulls on the wood, so if you change them you will see the difference in the wood.

As others have said, polish them up so they will be nice and clean, and then let them tarnish again for as long as you like.


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RE: Polished or tarnished . . . Your thoughts?

>I'll bet there is an outline of the pulls on the wood, so if you change them you will see the difference in the wood.

I'd bet that, too.


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