Shining The Silver For The Holidays

Do you love the glimmer of the holiday season? November is the perfect time to take stock of your silver pieces and start shining things up.
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
Now, I should preface by saying, as much as I love antiques in general, and silver in particular, I’m not a stickler for collectors’ quality or impeccable provenance. All I need is a great looking piece that will make the statement I want to make and I’m good to go. So what if it has a big gash in the back or is missing a hinge? Save perfection for the collectors; I’m all about the visual concept.
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
With that in mind, there’s nothing quite like unearthing a piece from the wreckage of an antique market, buried in a banished location and tarnished beyond recognition. These are the treasures that call out to me as I prowl the aisles, with an eye for such discoveries like a patrolman with night vision goggles. Such was the case when I found this teapot in a back room curio on the third floor of one market. The lines were so lovely but the tarnish so heavy, I really wondered whether it would ever shine. But the price was right, so I took a chance.
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
Once at home, I couldn’t wait to get to work on it. I spent the better part of a day smothering it in silver polish and buffing like my life depended on it. I started with a generous slathering of Weiman's Silver Polish. I put the first coat on and let it dry, then went back and began buffing with a simple paper towel. Well ok, lots of paper towels.
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
Here you can see the shine begin to emerge. I started with the large belly area since it was smoother than the beautifully detailed handle, legs and spout. But once I realized I could get it to shine, I redoubled my efforts as my motivation was rewarded. I just kept applying the polish and continued rubbing, leaving some of the dark visible in the decorative recessed areas to emphasize the aged patina.
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
I kept walking away feeling I needed a break, but it kept luring me back until the job was done. I was delighted with the results!
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
As the holidays approach, I like to refresh all the silver objects around my home. I love repousse and I’m careful to leave the dark bits in the recesses untouched. Much of it isn’t silver at all but some combination of silver plate and other metals, yet they shine up quite nicely nonetheless.
how to shine the silver for the holidays, cleaning tips
There are many more of my special pieces highlighted in my post on the blog. Please visit Designthusiasm to see the rest and I wish you a glimmering holiday season!
Lory @ Designthusiasm

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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3 of 35 comments
  • Cynthy
    on Nov 14, 2014

    Lory - Yeah, it would have been funny, huh? My brother and I gave them a 25th Anniversary Party, a lot more silver was given; but the one we love most is the silver set from Daddy. Mama was never one for much attention but she loved that night; Daddy on the other hand couldn't get enough attention! So Jay takes after Daddy and I am still Mama's girl, at 51 and she has been gone 21 years. (Cynthy 'lil Nell was her nickname for me, thank heavens, hate LaNell!). Always start thinking of her so much in from October through the holidays, her's and my own, favorite time of the year. Sentimental.

    • Cynthy
      on Nov 20, 2014

      Thank you Colleen! Yes she did and still does. It's hard to believeaalmost twenty-two years have gone by. But I have kept her memory alive for my daughter and nieces. They know their Nanny. :-)

  • LorriLJ
    on Sep 22, 2017

    If you use a very soft cloth you will have fewer scratch marks than with paper towel.

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