If you are in the antique business, you will understand how certain trends become fashionable, and with innovative solutions for metal blackening, one can transform an antique brass or pewter item. Often with stunning results. Brass has always been a popular metal for furniture and fittings, and it has a dull glow, which can be quite bright if polished. As an alternative, there is a process that will darken bright brass surfaces to a shade of dark brown, making the piece look older and more distinguished.
This is an innovative way to add character to a range of furniture and fitting items, and involves immersing the metal in a bath of solution, which has a temperature of 35 – 40 C. After 5 minutes of immersion, the item is removed and the brass is allowed to dry, then any abrasions are removed from the surface, and the remainder will be embedded in the tiny brass crevices, giving the surface an antique look.
Brass has long been a popular choice for furniture, fixtures and fitting, and this metal is used for the following:
- Furniture fittings
- Window and door fittings
- Buckles and badges
The antique blacking process transforms the look of any piece and there are specialised companies that also work in cold blacking steel which is a popular finish for many reasons.
Many antique pieces are made from pewter, which has always been popular in Britain, and there is a special solution called Blackfast 181, and if the pewter is free of grease and wet, 3-4 minutes of immersion in the solution will render the pewter a darker colour. One can add a coat of lacquer to give the pewter an additional shine, or just dry it naturally.
Blackfast 183 is the ideal solution to treat copper, and it only takes a minute or two before the copper begins to darken. As with other metals, the copper must be free of grease and grime and for best results, the copper should be wet when immersed in the solution. The longer you leave the copper in the solution, the darker it will become, and generally, two minutes is adequate. Drying can be done in an oven, or using hot air, and the results will add character to any copper item.
The Blackfast 181 solution will work well with nickel plating, with a typical time of 5 minutes immersion to give the right colour. The nickel plated objects should be free from grease and wet from a water wash when it is immersed in the solution. You can manually clean the piece with a cloth for different effects, and with a range of drying options, you can create something unique.
There are online companies that supply these solutions, and with easy to follow instructions, you can transform antiques. An online search would reveal a company that offers a range of products to enhance antiques of all forms.