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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: Restoring brass beds

Posted By: James Schooley <furnitureissues@earthlink.net> (0-2pool241-206.nas2.sioux-city1.ia.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: 7/12/5 00:28

In Response To: Restoring brass beds (Bonnie Beckloff)

Most old brass beds are coated with shellac or lacquer, requiring that the old finish be removed with paint stripper, lacquer thinner, or for shellac you may be able to do the task with denatured alcohol. Which ever method you use, be sure to use caution not to scratch the brass by using an abrasive pad or steel wool to remove the finish. Select rags that are free of any dirt, old buttons, or other substance as the scratches will be very troublesome to polish out. Apply the stripping liquid with a new hair brush to a reasonable space, allow to set for as long as it takes for the finish to soften, then wipe off the loosened film and start again with a fresh application of more stripper to the next area. Use no metal tools to loosen the finish, just more clean rags. Once all the finish is gone, you can remove the tarnish with Tarnex, then begin to shine with Cotton Cleanser, and wipe very clean. Put on cotton gloves to apply a film of Semichrome and buff with a clean cotton cloth till you can see a bright shine. Still using gloves, wipe clean the entire brass surface with Naptha and then apply an even but heavy coat of Brass Lacquer. Avoid any runs, cover the entire bed part completely and allow to dry away from dust or any fans. When the coat has had time to cure, about 2 hours, set in a safe place to harden, about 12 hours, and start the next piece. Good luck, and just for fun call an expert and see how much they would charge before you get too involved, it may be worth it.

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