Before & After

The Kelly Campaign

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to paint a piece of furniture bright Kelly green.  It started when I found this Reed & Barton color glazed silver bowl from the 1960’s in a thrift shop for a dollar.  A dollar for this beauty!

kelly green bowl

So I wanted to bring this fun color into our home and once I found the perfect piece, this small campaign desk, off to the paint store I went to color match it!  Here’s the  desk I found at (of course) a thrift store for $40 – the hardware alone is worth that to me, but the added benefit was this desk with faux bamboo legs that would tuck nicely into the kids study/art/craft playroom.

Before:

campaign dresser before

 

After:

 kelly green campaign desk

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Brass Hardware: Polishing and Faking It

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

One thing is undeniable in the DIY and design world, brass hardware is back and lately I’m totally loving it on furniture. As a child of the 80’s I admit shiny lacquered brass fixtures still don’t appeal to me, but I am drawn to the golden glow of real or antiqued brass with its warmer patina.

In the past two weeks, I’ve fixed up two pieces, one dresser and one campaign desk, and both had brass hardware I wanted to reuse.  One set of hardware was real brass, the other brass plate, and both needed a good polish.

Over the last year, I’ve also narrowed down two great substitutes for faking the patina with other hardware that you want to give a golden glow.  If you’re curious how to tell the difference between real brass and brass plate, how to polish unlacquered brass, or how to fake the look of antique brass hardware, here’s how I do it.

brass hardware polished and fake

 

Real brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and if it’s not lacquered, will tarnish with exposure to air over time.  There are two methods I use to bring back the mellow antiqued patina, one is Brasso if I have it on hand and the other is natural lemon juice and salt paste mixture.

tarnished brass hardware

 

But first, before you polish, you should know whether your hardware is real brass or brass plate.  Here’s the simple way to tell the difference.  Take a household magnet and see if it will stick to the piece, if it won’t that means the hardware is real brass, like these campaign pulls.

real brass campaign pulls

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