Brass Floor Lamps – Polished brass gives a warm, old-fashioned shine for lamps and accessories, but not everyone embraces the patina that comes with age and exposure to the elements. Whether you are trying to restore an exterior fixture or simply give a quick pick-me-up to an indoor lamp, cleaning metals can be a challenge. The following tips for polishing brass are organized from the simplest to the most difficult.
Brightness to an interior lamp slightly tarnished by putting a bit of toothpaste or a cleaner commercial bronze like the Brasso on the lamp and rubbing it with a soft cloth. Let stand for one minute and then wipe the residue with a clean cloth. Repeat until the lamp is clean. Clean a lamp to a greater extent tarnished by its disassembly and polish each piece gently with very fine steel wool. Clean the parts with a good commercial brass cleaner and a soft cloth. Restore the shine to an outdoor accessory tarnished by evaporation by removing the varnish.
Place your mask and gloves and apply a very small portion of a lacquer stripper based on methylene chloride to each piece of the lamp. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes and then clean the affected area. Repeat until each piece is clean. Polish the parts cleaned with a commercial brass cleaner, and finish the stubborn stains with very fine steel wool. Mount the lamp, and apply a new coat of lacquer. Allow it to dry completely before hanging the lamp again.