Do you have any of those shiny yellow-brass circa 1993 doorknobs around your house? We have a whole assortment of different eras represented on different doors around here, but the one in my front hall was the lame-o shiny kind.
But I fixed it up good. Yes I did.
Someone had installed a little slide lock on the door at some point and it was made from some kind of cheap brass. I guess because of its cheapness, it had tarnished quicker than the door knob and it was exactly the kind of old-looking finish I was looking for.
OK, maybe pretty isn’t the right word for it. But it’s more what I’m looking for to add character and stand out against my crisp new paint job.
Here’s how I worked my magic!
The first thing that needed to happen was to remove the clear varnish that was keeping the brass from tarnishing.
I read that a little vinegar mixed with salt and applied with a scouring pad does the trick. I’m not totally sure if it worked, but I did notice the finish becoming less shiny and yellowy and more raw looking. It was a bit of a lighter color as well. So it must have done something.
Next I rubbed the whole thing with a bit of sandpaper. At first I felt like I was doing something terribly wrong, but in the aftermath, I see if really did help the look overall.
So at this point it just looked like a scratched up, slightly lighter-colored 1993 brass door knob.
I read somewhere that heating the brass up with a flame would help it tarnish quickly.
I grabbed my candle lighter and got to firing that brass knob.
At a certain point it occurred to me that what I was actually doing was holding a flame up to a part of my beloved house and heating that part up more and more.
As usual, I didn’t want to wait to see the results of the natural tarnishing so I grabbed my trusty dollar store craft paints and did a little faux magic, instead of you know, setting my house aflame.
-Wipe on a dab of black everywhere, including in the nooks and crannies. Wipe off.
-Wipe on a dab of burnt umber everywhere. Wipe off.
-Wipe on a dab of gold. Wipe off a little bit, but leave it on mostly.
So that got it half-way there. Over the next couple of days, the natural tarnish filled in and the fake and the real came together in perfect harmony.
So what started out as an experiment and a maybe sorta OK temporary solution ended up being one of my very favorite parts of the room.
Now I just wish I had more brass knobs!