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what type of metal and how to restore it?

Posted by cateyanne (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 10, 06 at 13:53

I am restoring a 1940's home. the metal door hardware is really dark and I want to polish it to original luster. I have glass or crystal knobs with brass connectors(these clean up easily)but the plate is a different metal. It is in an art deco design, fan shape. It seems to be a thin pressed plate so I am presuming it is not brass, the back is a grayish brown color. the front has lots of little lines and grooves in it but I was able (after alot of elbow grease!) to uncover a brassy spot. Should I assume these are brass plated? My concern is if they are only plated, will I be damaging them with all the rubbing this will take to bring back the brass shine? I don't believe I could even hand rubb all these, they are really tough. Is there a tried and true methoid of restoring this metal? could I be doing something wrong? Anybody have any experience with this? thanks for your help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: what type of metal and how to restore it?

Just a guess.....

You might go to your local pharmacy and purchase some powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C, like oranges). Use this as a mild acid to clean the piece. You can start out very dilute and see how it goes... (you mix the powder with water to your desired strength). If you start with a very diluted solution (and considerable patience), you should not damage the metal at all. Then you can see what you might have.....perhaps.
Bruce (Junkmanme)

RE: what type of metal and how to restore it?

Thanks junkmanme; is this a scrub or a soaking solution?

RE: what type of metal and how to restore it?

You may be dealing with either a brass or a bronze. Either one can be cleaned by the method junkmanme suggested. If you want the metal to shine when done you can polish it with "Brasso" a commercial brass polish found at most hardware stores. I would recommend that you coat the polished metal with a clear gloss laquer to prevent the metal from tarnishing again.


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