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How to Refinish a Brass Lamp

Cassandra Tribe

A beautiful brass lamp may be tempting you from the attic or the antique store, but the finish is in such bad condition that you are not really sure you have the skills to refinish it and make it look new again. Fortunately, it is easy to refinish a brass lamp. Brass lamps are typically plated with brass and what most people do not know is the brass is protected by a varnish or lacquer. Remove this first and you can refinish a brass lamp with ease.

Refinish a brass lamp easily and light up your room.

Step 1

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and on one of your polishing cloths, place a small amount of brass polish and add 2 to 3 drops of ammonia to the polish. Work the polish and ammonia together into a paste. Make sure the area where you will be working is well ventilated to protect you from the fumes of the ammonia.

Step 2

Coat the lamp in broad strokes with the ammonia-and-polish mixture by simply wiping the cloth on the lamp.

Step 3

Rub the mixture onto the surface as if you were polishing the lamp. For tight spaces or areas with heavy decoration, use an old toothbrush to rub in the mix.

Step 4

Rinse the mix off your lamp with warm water and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

Step 5

Place a small amount of polish only on a clean cloth and polish the lamp. Let dry according to length of time specified on your brand of polish.

Step 6

Apply a light coating of spray-on varnish or lacquer to protect your work of refinishing the brass lamp. Let the lamp dry and it is ready for use.