Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Prepping the "Pretty": Lacquer removal. A labour of love.





BRASS IS BEAUTIFUL.
our Deltana hardware after a thorough de-lacquering
 
But only after it's aged a bit really. Apparently, I am alone in this belief as nearly all manufacturers of brass hardware produce it with a lacquer finish that keeps it from tarnishing. And that lacquer ultimately yellows to a really weird fake gold color over time and hides all the inherent beauty of the brass.
But there's good news, that lacquer can be removed! And it can be removed easily - though it took us two houses and countless hours of scrubbing to realize this. I now share the secret with you:
 
1) Multi Strip Professional Paint remover
2) Paint and sponge brushes
3) fine Brillo pads
4) patience
5) elbow grease

Multi- strip has the consistency of "Slime" and it's best to slime the hardware with enough Multi Strip to cover the hardware and the surrounding surface. Wait three hours, wipe the slime off with a paper towel and the lacquer will slide right off with it. Inevitably, some spots of lacquer will remain but then you enthusiastically scrub any remaining lacquer off with the brillo pad. Et voila! Lacquer free brass.
It will now age to a deep rich brass color that looks better and better!

I would have never had the guts to try this had the fantastic architect Maria dela Guardia of DLGV Architects not suggested it and I am forever in her debt. It makes a world of difference!