What Makes Brass Dull?

brass-dull Credit: Shaun Brierley/Moment/Getty Images

While brass tarnishes over time, especially if it is unvarnished and exposed to the air, special compounds, such as Rocker's Brass Darkening Solution or Brass Ager, can be used to create the look of aged, dull brass quickly. Lacquer must be removed before using a brass-dulling solution.

Lacquer on brass can be removed by applying fingernail polish remover or acetone. Brass aging products work within seconds, so it is important to keep an eye on the brass to make sure it does not get too dark in the process. If the brass becomes too dark, polishing it with fine steel wool while it is still wet from the brass aging product helps to reduce the darkness and dull the shine.