Brass beds are classic styles dating back to 17th century colonial times. Whether you have an antique or newer brass bed that has a coat of lacquer on it or one in need of refinishing, the first step is removing the paint or rust from the brass. Some commercial cleaners or natural cleaners may further discolor the brass. Instead, sand the brass to remove old paint or metal discolorations. Depending on the size of the bed, roughening the surface by hand may not be feasible. When you want to cover a large surface easily, you can refinish brass beds with sandblasting.
Things You'll Need
- Extra-large plastic sheeting or tarps
- Damp cloth
- Dry cloths
- Protective clothing
- Protective glasses
- Sandblasting hood
- Aluminum oxide sandblasting abrasives
- Tack cloth
- Brass polishing compound
- Buffing cloths
Choose an outdoor location if possible or an area with good ventilation. Place the plastic sheeting or tarp on the ground. If you are refinishing the bed inside use enough sheeting to cover the walls around your work area.
Wipe off any dirt or dust with a damp cloth and use a dry cloth to dry the brass.
Protect yourself by donning your protective clothing, glasses, facemask, gloves and sandblasting hood. You can find all of these items at home improvement stores or rental centers where you can also rent a sandblaster.
Insert the sandblasting abrasives into the sandblaster according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Aluminum oxide comes in a suitable grit for sandblasting brass to prepare brass for refinishing.
Hold the nozzle close to the brass. Turn on the sandblaster and move the nozzle back and forth slowly over the surface to remove rust or discoloration.
Wipe the grit from the surface with a tack cloth. Remove the plastic sheeting or tarp and discard it. Put down a clean piece of plastic sheeting.
Pour a dime-size amount of brass polishing compound onto a soft cloth. Rub the compound over the brass in a circular motion.
Buff away the compound with soft buffing cloths. Apply another coat of the compound and buff away again. Keep buffing until the brass shines brightly.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear the protective clothing, hood and mask even if you sandblast the bed outdoors; the fine particles can get into your lungs and eyes.
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