Brass headboards are made with the combination of copper and zinc. The warm color of brass is beautiful, the only downside is that brass is easily tarnished when it is not well-maintained. Repairing rusted brass headboards back to their former luster is simple, with a few simple tricks.
Step 1 – Clean for Soils
Your brass headboard can be soiled lightly or heavily. For light soils, simply apply isopropyl alcohol on the brass headboard and use a soft sponge to rub the brass. Use gentle strokes and rub along the grain. If the marks aren’t removed using the soft sponge, you can use a tougher scrub pad.
For heavier soiled jobs, place your sponge on a basin of water and squeeze out any excess water. Then, add a small amount of light scouring, low abrasion, cream on the sponge. Spread the cream onto the sponge by lightly squeezing on it and apply the cream on the brass headboard. Make sure that you rub it along the grain of the brass and not against the grain for clean and even finishes. Once you’re done cleaning, wipe the area using a soft rag.
Step 2 - Polish Brass
When you are done cleaning your brass headboard, the next step is to polish it. Polishing is easy, all you need to do is apply a small amount of oil on the brass and then buff it vigorously with a clean cloth. Be very careful with applying too much oil, because this can result in discoloration and yellowing, rather than polishing.
Step 3 – Use Olive Oil
Olive oil is a wonderful anti-tarnish solvent and is all-natural and green. Apply the olive oil on the brass headboard and use a clean cloth to remove the tarnish from your headboard.
Step 4 – Apply Lacquer
Applying lacquer is an easy way to preserve the beauty of your brass headboard and prevent it from tarnishing. However, you need to remove the old lacquer on your headboard first before you can apply a fresh new coat. Simply do so with the use of a lacquer remover. Once you’ve done that, clean the surface of the brass headboard so that it is free of any cleaner residue or fingerprints. Apply multiple thin coats of lacquer. Always use lukewarm water and never hot water when caring for you lacquer.
Step 5 – Treat Tarnished Brass
Brass, without any coating of lacquer, is vulnerable to tarnishing when exposed to moisture and air. In order for you to reverse the effects of a tarnished brass headboard, simply use a commercial cleaner on your headboard. For a homemade remedy, combine flour, salt and vinegar together so that they form a paste. Apply that paste on the tarnished portions of the brass headboard and scrub away. Also, to maintain your brass headboard, and prevent tarnishing, wipe the brass with ammonia weekly.