How to Polish Your Vintage Furniture Hardware

3 Materials
5 Minutes

When I flip my vintage furniture pieces I always like to keep the original hardware if possible. Now it's not always possible if it's missing or damaged buy if it's solid brass (or brass plated) there is always hope!

I usually start with a vinegar/water mixture and boil the hardware for 10 min or so. I use a separate pot for this that is only used for this purpose. I usually eyeball the ratio but I'd say it's 2 parts water 1 part vinegar.

The vinegar bath loosens the grease and any old furniture polish it may have on it. After the vinegar I use barkeepers friend!

I use the soft cleanser.

I rub it with a scrub pad and that usually takes off everything else. It is quite amazing.

I them wash it off with running water and dry them! Look at that difference! It looks good as new. It's a very inexpensive way to restore the original hardware, that way you don't have to patch/droll new holes for new hardware.

These are looking good as new on these oriental nightstands

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  • Flipturn Flipturn on Apr 21, 2022

    As yes, Bar Keepers Friend. I think it is one of many multi purpose under-rated products available at a reasonable cost, especially compared with 'specialty category' products that perform as well.

    Thanks for sharing the tip.

  • Nancy Lou Nancy Lou on Jun 09, 2022

    I take a half cup white vinegar, one teaspoon salt and enough all purpose flour to make a thin paste. Paint the paste on the hardware and let it sit 10-30 minutes. Rinse. Stubborn tarnish or pitting can be addressed with an old toothbrush.