They were not very expensive, mostly because they were not in perfect condition. Brass is made from an alloy of metals, and as a result, it loves to tarnish.
Brass also brings verdigris – it’s a green build-up that you will often find in the creases (and eventually the entire surface) of brass objects. If you’ve seen The Statue of Liberty, then you’ve seen verdigris.
Thankfully, brass is easily brought back to life. And while your first reaction may be to grab some chemically-laden brass cleaner, it can all be handled with ingredients from your kitchen!
If you want your brass to glow beautifully, then layer it on evenly and let it sit for an hour. I let Lila handle this job. She also dumped a boatload of ketchup INTO the vase.
Insufficient supervision? What makes you say that?
After a quick scrub and some time, these little beauties – and I love these cats, especially the curiously-titled-head one – were ready to resume their position on the mantel. Easy-peasy. Preschooler’s work (literally).
But… sometimes you need to get a little elbow grease involved. That tarnish just wasn’t budging with the gentle coercion of ketchup. I had to break out the big guns.
I mixed salt and lemon juice in another small container – rinsed off Hubby’s toothbrush – and started scrubbing.
I admit, this took more than the few minutes that slapping on the ketchup required. However, the results were evident as I continued to work. And after I scrubbed for about fifteen minutes:
The mantel is really coming along with these little touches of brassy goodness. Bring brass back, fellow thrifters! I have seen brass in newer light fixtures and railings, but I haven’t seen much in the way of knick-knacks and the like. It’s cheap, beautiful, and can be cleaned up easily and naturally. You don’t even have to whip out your trusty can of spray paint.
(And if you buy a piece that is too far gone and you throw up your hands and curse my name, then just grab your white spray paint and make it “faux-ceramic”. Seriously. You probably paid $2 for it. The possibilities for these pieces are endless.)
I’m loving this brass resurrection, even if I’m a party of one in that matter.