Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How To: Remove Tarnish from Metal Lamps

Recently I snagged a pair of lamps from a new-to-me Etsy shop Ramona Morningbird. The listing photos looked like this:

I was so excited to find these lamps, as I've been searching high and low for a matching pair of square-based metal lamps for our bedroom, as seen in this post.

I knew from the photos that I'd be needing to polish the brass lamps to remove some of the tarnish. The lamps arrived quickly and were very well-packaged (kudos to the shop owner!), but as suspected they were a bit grimier than I would like for something I'll be sleeping next to.

So I found this tutorial on how to polish brass lamps. I adapted the 'beauty mask' recipe they provide--I didn't have white vinegar on hand, so I used some apple cider vinegar. Therefore, my recipe for the beauty mask was: 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup flour, and 1/2 cup salt.

The instructions on the tutorial say to leave the paste on for a few hours, but I found that it stripped the grime within minutes, if not seconds, after application of the paste. Don't believe me? Here are the results:

Cameo appearance credit: my puppy Charli :)

This looks like shadow effect, but it's not--the left side is the 'before' and the right side is after applying the mask for a couple minutes.

The biggest surprise, other than how quickly and well the mask worked, is that my lamps are actually copper, not brass!


Aren't they gorgeous!?! I wasn't actually able to remove all of the marks that I had planned, but I like them flaws and all--gives them character! Now I just need to buy a couple of these rectangular shades, trim the shades in a dark ribbon, and plug these bad boys in :)

What's been your latest, greatest Etsy find??

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