How can I restore rusty brass lamps?

by Frankie

I have 3 brass lamps that were in storage for 20 years. The brass is discolored with rusty colored spots . What is the best way to restore them other than spray painting them.

  5 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 24, 2019

    Try cleaning with Brasso and use fine steel wool to remove the spots.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Sep 24, 2019

    If they are brass and you are having trouble restoring them, chances are they have a lacquer on it. Most of the time real brass lamps have a lacquer. The reason I say this is that brass will tarnish fairly quickly and can turn black. What keeps the brass from tarnishing so fast(and keeps it shiny and gold-ish) is the lacquer which keeps the air from tarnishing. Eventually (takes years), that brass shine will tarnish even underneath the lacquer though. The way to deal with that is stripping the lacquer... then shine up with a brass cleaner once that lacquer is off, and then re-lacquer. could try shining it up with a brass cleaner, if nothing happens to make them look better, you will need to strip it using a stripper. That means there is lacquer that needs to be stripped to get to the brass. Then try to brass cleaner it again. (TRY BRASSO cleaner) If still nothing looks better, then the metal may just be a cheap metal that has been painted to look like brass and can just be repainted and finished off with another lacquer or polycrilic finisher. If you are unsure even after all this, they do have shops to restore brass which you can find in a phone book or online.

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Sep 24, 2019

    Brasso works or use bar keepers friend for a more budget friendly option:

    Hope this Helps! Jeremy -

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Sep 24, 2019

    Seeing how the lamps have rust spots they are just brass plated, not brass. Because of this you’ll need to be very careful that you don’t rub through the thin brass plating with the steel wool.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 11, 2021

    I agree with Zard and would add you can't use Brasso on brass-plated or brass-painted lamps.

    Prep for spray paint, when it warms up outside.