How to Antique a Brass Hinge

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A hinge is two pieces of metal connected by a pin that allows a door or window to swing open easily. Brass has been used for hundreds of years to make hinges because of its strength and corrosion resistance. Brass changes color as it ages, giving it a greenish brown patina. This coloration can be accelerated so that your new brass hinges will appear much older. Once you have modified the patina of the brass, you can add the hinges to any "antique" you may be creating today.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 gallon bucket with tight-fitting lid
  • Ammonia
  • 3 wood blocks (2 inches by 2 inches by 4 inches)
  • Plywood (1/2 inch by 6 inches by 6 inches)
  • Brass hinges
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic face shield
  • Remove the lid from the 5 gallon bucket. Pour 1 inch of clear ammonia into the bottom of the bucket. Be careful not to splash the liquid onto the sides of the container.

  • Place the 2 wooden blocks gently into the ammonia in the bucket. Arrange the blocks so that one end of each is facing the center of the bucket and the opposite ends radiate out towards the outer walls.

  • Set the plywood on top of the wooden blocks. Place your hinges onto the plywood. Snap the lid of the bucket securely in place. Check your hinges daily to see the progression of the patina developing on the brass.

  • Remove the hinges from the bucket once they have achieved the desired appearance. Dispose of the ammonia and bucket in a safe and legal manner once your project is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear a protective plastic face shield and heavy rubber gloves when working with chemicals like ammonia.
  • Do not directly inhale the fumes of the ammonia.

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