shining up the good stuff – brass fittings

12 Jul
July 12, 2016

so… if you’ve ever lived in an old house before (which is pretty much always if you’ve lived around here), you’ve probably dealt with old windows. i had an apartment in my 20’s in bellingham, and my super old windows looked right out over the bay. we didn’t really do much with them. they were old, creaky, sticky and pretty. i usually popped one or two open all winter, so i didn’t die of (the overused radiator) heat that i had zero control over.

20 years later, i have my very own old windows, and i’m not sure where i read it, most likely manhattan nest, possibly door sixteen, but one of those astute bloggers basically said, check out your hardware, its most likely brass. since every fitting in this house is basically black… i decided to investigate.

i have numerous types of polish, but nothing specific for brass. when i did the hardware from the kid’s windows, maybe they weren’t used as much, but everything shined up quick. the stuff i took off yesterday took forever and didn’t really respond to my tarn-x or wrights, so i got online and looked for home methods. there was a salt/vinegar combo i found, but after soaking them for a bit, everything turned pink. not uncommon, brass is a mix of metals, one of them copper… but then i read you specifically need a brass polish to get that off.

so luckily there’s a neighborhood ace close by, and i went over and picked up some brasso. cue the angels singing! that stuff worked super quick… and here’s the result. oh! and the little round knobs (from the closets) must have been some cheaper metal, or plated, because they just looked… gross after a soak. so i spray painted them satin black. (probably do the hinges black too)


the after! so. good. and honestly, since i’m all about the instant gratification- these totally delivered. i still have some painting to do- half a window left, and 2 doors (i know! did i get anything done?). man that stuff takes time. i also forgot to post yesterday my grandma doorknobs (see below), that in this house, i kind of love. although, when i went to the restore to track down the hinges and knob (kid’s room missing parts), i saw that they have a ton of brass and porcelain knobs. kind of love that idea even more. this plate will need to be boiled (fastest way to get that paint off) and then i’ll put my new brasso to use, and shine it up. the things i find fun these days… xoxo- k.


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3 replies
  1. Phoebe Harrell says:

    I have always super hardcore loved grandma door knobs. Love. Which means old age will probably be good for me. 😉

  2. Elisa says:

    Manhattan nest is the best. As I recall he put his paint caked hardware in a crockpot and let it simmer for a while. Recommended this especially if it was lead since it contains the nasties. Of course you need a dedicated CP for this.

    Loving this house journey. You should link Ace. Maybe you’ll get some sponsorship out of it. MN is now sponsored by Lowes all.the.time.

  3. kam says:

    On my last house I used his tip for getting gloopy paint off by boiling, and I have a dedicated pot just for this job. I LOVE his Lowes posts! That last yard one was FAB! I should link to Ace- sponsorship or no-neighborhood gem!

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