3 methods of antiqueing new hardware, brass or steel
Sometimes hardware that is new and shiny doesn't look just right on an antique piece of furniture. Here are some ways to match
the look and finish of brass or steel hardware to the look of the furniture that they are installed on.
First, the protective coating on brass hardware needs to be removed. Usually this is a lacquer coating and can be removed by
soaking the hardware in lacquer thinner. A bit of steel wool can be used to remove stubborn coatings after soaking in thinner.
There are 3 methods to age brass; Darkening, fuming and flaming.
Darkening solution - Use a metal darkening solution according to directions and place hardware in the solution for several minutes.
Keep a close watch and when the desired shade is reached, remove and rinse with clean water to stop the process.
Fuming - Another method uses Household Ammonia fumes to age and darken the brass. Just suspend the hardware above the
ammonia liquid and monitor the progress as it darkens. This is slower than the darkening solution. Once the shade is reached that
you desire, remove hardware from the container. A glass jar works well to hold the Ammonia with a top or aluminum foil to keep
Flaming - after the above methods, a flame can be used to tone the darkened metal and steel wool can be used to remove the
darkening of raised areas or edges to highlight the color change.
If at any time you are dissatisfied with the result of the above methods, just buff back to bare brass and try it over again.
Zinc plated hardware - Plain zinc plated hardware can be made to look black and antique by soaking in muratic acid to remove the
zinc plating and then using a propane torch to heat up to red and let cool. Oil can also be sprayed on the metal and heated again
to give a deeper black look. With a little distressing, hammering, etc the new zinc plated hinge, etc. will look old and from an earlier
Shenandoah Antique Restoration
Antiqueing New Hardware