As brass hardware ages, its surface oxidizes, which leaves a layer of tarnish over the hardware.
Over time, an additional protective layer, called a patina, forms over the untreated tarnished brass.
Brand new brass hardware, such as drawer pulls, door handles or towel bars, stays shiny and bright for decades because its surface is covered by a protective coat, usually a lacquer.
To "age" brass hardware in a reasonable amount of time, you'll first need to remove this protective coating and then ammonia fume the exposed brass.
Steps Remove the hardware from the wall, furniture, door or wherever it's installed.
Wipe it with a clean, dry rag to remove any dust or foreign material.
Skip this step if you have new or uninstalled hardware.
Disassemble the hardware so that you're only working with the brass pieces.
For example, if you're aging a brass candle sconce that has a glass hurricane cover, remove and set aside the glass cover.
Snip 2 1/2-inches (6.
35-centimeters) of wire from a wire hanger.
Use needle nose pliers to curve only one end of the wire into a hook.
Place your brass hardware pieces in the plastic bucket, and then pour lacquer thinner into the bucket.
Use enough lacquer to completely submerge your brass hardware pieces.
Allow the pieces to soak overnight.
Remove your brass hardware pieces from the lacquer using the hook end of your wire.
Lay the pieces over a clean, dry rag and blot at them with another rag.
Take the lid off the coffee can.
Use a hammer and a nail to punch a hole through the can's lid, in the center.
Poke your hanger's unhooked end through this hole, going from the lid's bottom to its top.
Bend the end of the wire that is emerging from the top of the lid into a right angle so the wire hanger can hold itself in place.
Combine 1 cup (240 mL) of water and 2 tsp.
(10 mL) salt into a clean plastic bucket.
Allow the salt to dissolve, and then use the hook end of your lid-hook configuration to dip one of your hardware pieces into the liquid.
Add an inch (2.
54-centimeters) of household ammonia to the coffee can.
Replace the lid onto the coffee can so the hardware piece dangles inside the can, with the hook still holding the saltwater solution-covered hardware piece.
Since your hook is short, and you added only a little ammonia, your hardware piece should not touch the liquid.Apply heat to the can's bottom area with a hair dryer.Remove the can's lid, taking the hardware with it, after two minutes of heat application.Re-dip it in the salt solution.Replace the lid to ammonia fume the piece again.Repeat this process until you've satisfactorily aged your brass hardware piece.
Age the remaining brass hardware pieces that you earlier set aside, one by one.Video Warnings If your hardware isn't solid brass, but is instead brass plated, proceed with the aging process with caution.The process may completely remove the brass plating.If you aren't sure if the hardware is sold brass, scratch it in an unnoticeable area, such as the back of a faucet or the top of a hanging hardware.If scratching reveals more brass or a yellow color, the hardware is solid.Colors such as red or white mean you're probably dealing with bronze, steel or another inexpensive metal.Things You'll Need Clean, dry rags Large plastic bucket Lacquer thinner Wire coat hanger Wire snips Needle nose pliers Metal 1 lb.(.453 kg) coffee can with fitted metal lid Nail Hammer Water Household ammonia Hair dryer Related wikiHows How to Age Copper How to Remove Paint from Brass Fixtures How to De Lacquer Brass How to Paint Brass How to Tell Brass from Copper Sources and Citations http://www.