How to change the look of bright brass on any item to look more like brushed brass without the need to use any chemicals. It is a fast and easy DIY technique.
The project I am posting today is one of my favorite types of projects… where I use a method that isn’t mainstream DIY, but one that works all the same.
I have been making over my bedroom and needed to update the bright brass wall-mounted amps. They are bright polished brass swing-arm lamps – one on each side of the bed.
I like brass, but the polished brass on the lamps looked a bit dated. The latest brass trends are slightly brushed and are not so yellow. My lamps were in perfect working order, so instead of buying new, I transformed them and didn’t even have to pick up a paint brush.
All I did was use sandpaper to remove the polished look.
How to Update Polished Brass to Brushed Brass without Paint:
supplies needed: 100 grit sandpaper | Hand sanding block
All I did was rub sandpaper over the surface in one direction only. This is very important. You don’t just want to rub the sandpaper any which way – only in one direction so the scratch marks resemble a brushed metal finish. I used vertical strokes – long strokes on the flat parts and short strokes on the detailed areas.
- I kept the sandpaper flat and pressed hard so that it would leave long scratch marks in the surface of the brass.
- To get brush/scratch marks into the crevices, I folded a small piece of sandpaper and ran in up and down the crevices. I had to use a few folded pieces since the sandpaper wore out quickly
- For the rounded areas, I used the sanding block and moved it like I was playing the violin around the arm and light bulb socket area.
Close up – After and before
For the cost of a sheet of sandpaper and 15 minutes of my time, my brass swing-arm lamps are updated. I know they are not perfect, but I don’t need perfect – I am very happy with how they came out.
- Swing-Arm lamps are perfect for bedtime reading since they don’t take up any space on your night table. I also like that you can move them around to get just the right light no matter how you are sitting or lying on the bed.
Have you done any “improvised” projects lately?
Want to age brass? Check out this post on how to do it.
Design Note: My swing-arm lamps are not hardwired to the wall. They have a cord hanging down. I used the magic of photoshop to remove the cord from the image from the first image in this post since it look like it was part of the shell.
If you have a similar lamp with a cord hanging down and can’t hardwire it, then you can place a cord cover over it and paint it the same color as the wall. This will lessen the look of the cord. Or on some higher end wall-mounted lights the cord covers are part of the design.
Most, but not all wall-mounted lamps come with them. They are either like a round metal tube or a square channel that mounts out of the bottom of the fixture. Here is one in brass, but they come in white and silver finishes also: https://amzn.to/2Rr87Kt