A brass chandelier can be a beautiful addition to any dining room or entryway. If you want to restore an antique chandelier to its previous luster and shine, you can do so with a bit of elbow grease and effort. Brass light fixtures are timeless, can match almost any décor and last for many years.
Antique Brass Chandeliers
Antique brass chandeliers can be found in old homes, salvage yards and antique stores. If you have the time and energy to poke through booths, you may also find a hidden gem of a chandelier at a flea market or rummage sale.
Brass light fixtures are either solid brass or steel plated brass. You can check to see which type of brass you have by holding a magnet up to the fixture. It will stick to plated brass. If you chose this type of fixture, you will have to remove tarnish with steel wool and then have it replated, since that kind of damage is the result of rust. An alternative to replating is to paint the brass.
When polishing antique brass, be careful not to over-polish the metal, or else you will remove too much of the antique patina that gives the piece its value. Solid brass is naturally resistant to corrosion and rust, which makes it an attractive addition to any home. To maintain the antique patina, do not apply lacquer; otherwise add a thin coat of varnish in order to prevent further tarnishing to the brass.
Once cleaned and polished, it will need little maintenance other than regular cleaning to remove dust and grime. This can be particularly true of chandeliers that are installed in front entries where the opening and closing of the front door allows outside air and dust to come in and swirl around the lighting fixture.
Step 1 – Lower the Chandelier
If the chandelier is already installed above and entry way or near the ceiling, lower it so that it is accessible.
Step 2 – Remove and Clean Bulbs and Shades
Remove the light bulbs and shades. Wipe these down to remove grime. Handle the bulbs with a soft cloth and avoid touching with your skin, especially if the bulbs are antiques.
Step 3 – Remove Dust
Remove accumulated dust and grime from the chandelier with a metal cleansing cloth.
Step 4 – Polish the Brass
Apply brass polish to the chandelier with a microfiber cloth. Carefully polish the brass bringing out the luster and shine. Do not over-polish as it can strip the brass of any antique patina.
Step 5 – Reinstall the Bulbs and Shades
Once you are satisfied with the depth of the luster on the chandelier, reinstall the bulbs and shades. Raise the chandelier back into place.
Regularly polishing and cleaning your brass chandelier will keep your light fixture looking bright and shining.