Before & After

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Pin It

DIY: Lacquer Lookalikes

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

It has been said to me by my mate on more than one occasion that when it comes to decor I have champagne taste on a beer budget. You’ll get no denial from me. I’ve long been in love with lacquer nesting boxes like these and these ~ they are such glamorous little vessels for storing everything small from jewelry to keepsakes. I happen to find them completely irresistible, but the problem is they’re pricey, up to $80 a box (or more!) for the designer versions.

ooh la lacquer boxes

 

So last weekend I decided to do my thang  and mimic the look of these beauties with a few supplies from the craft store.

lacquer lookalikes before and after

 

diy lacquer lookalike nesting boxes

To make these yourself, here’s what you’ll need: wood jewelry boxes from craft store, small Phillips head screwdriver, paint colors of choice, wood filler, painter’s tape,  medium and small paintbrushes, fine sanding wedge, high gloss coating.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Pin It