How to Darken Brass

John Jackman

Brass is commonly used for fittings around the house, such as door handles and door knockers. Aged brass that has oxidized over time has a lovely antique look to it. New brass, on the other hand, can look rather cheap and garish.

Darkening brass gives an antique feel

To darken brass without waiting for nature to do its work, you need to find a dishwashing liquid which contains sodium bisulphite.

  1. Remove any varnish from the brass item you want to darken. Apply acetate to the brass, leave for a few minutes and then rub it vigorously to remove the varnish.

  2. Using a clean cloth, work some dishwashing liquid into the brass. The sodium bisulphite in the dishwashing liquid reacts with the brass and causes it to darken and look aged.

  3. Leave the dishwashing liquid on the brass until it is sufficiently darkened. Wash off the dishwashing liquid with water.