How Do You Give Brass an Antique Finish?

To give brass items an antique finish, remove the lacquer coating with paint stripper, make sure the surface is clean, coat the surface evenly with brass darkener, then wipe off the remaining darkening solution. This process takes less than an hour.

  1. Remove the lacquer coating

    Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area while using paint stripper. Carefully apply the stripper to the brass surface using a paintbrush. Wait for the recommended amount of time indicated on the paint stripper container before removing the stripper with a damp cloth.

  2. Clean the surface

    Using a clean cloth, rub the brass surface until it is slightly dull. Check that the surface is free of lacquer, and use a steel wool pad to gently remove any remaining coating. This ensures that the darkening solution works properly. Use a clean cloth to wipe away the debris.

  3. Apply the brass-darkening solution

    Coat the item completely with the darkening solution using a paintbrush, or dip the item into the solution to ensure even coverage. After a few minutes, check the color of the brass. To get a darker antique finish, let the solution sit on the brass surface for approximately 30 minutes. Wipe away the remaining solution with a dry cloth.