Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Refinish Your Black Fireplace Screen

Brass is an alloy made by mixing zinc and copper. There are so many kinds of brasses that can be made by mixing together different proportions of these two materials. These different brasses also come with different properties. Brass is usually a muted yellow and its similarity in color to gold makes it commonly used for decorations. It is also relatively tarnish-resistant, making it durable. Brass is usually used to make fireplace screens, like the ones below.

Because they are exposed to so much heat, a brass black fireplace screen can sometimes require refinishing. Here is a guide to help you do this on your own.
Cleaning and Polishing
Remove stains from brass by mixing lemon juice and salt on a sponge. Clean it with small, circular motions to not damage the metal but still take off any spots. Rubbing alcohol on a soft, non-metal sponge can also help get rid of tougher stains. Low-abrasion cleaner can also work on stains if applied with a damp sponge.
Polish brass by rubbing yellow oil on the metal to maintain the finish. Make sure that you do not use too much oil. After oiling, buff the metal with a soft cloth. This will cause the brass to shine and also create a smooth finish.
Homemade Brass Cleaner
The proper method of cleaning your brass fireplace screen will largely depend on whether it is lacquered or non-lacquered. However, such a distinction is unnecessary if you are intending to re-lacquer the screen.
Lacquered brass should not be cleaned with a cleaner; wiping it with a soft, damp cloth should do. Non-lacquered brass is more versatile and can be cleaned with a dollop of ketchup on a rag. Wipe of any remaining ketchup and buff the surface. For another homemade brass cleaner, combine salt, vinegar and flour to make a paste. Rub this paste on the brass, let it sit, and rinse off to remove stains.
Refinishing Brass
If you doing a massive refinishing job, re-lacquer your screen first. This is usually only necessary if the original lacquer has broken or become cracked overtime. Before you re-lacquer the fireplace screen, remove the original layer.
The next lacquer can be removed with acetone. Next. Polish the brass and remove and excess polish using acetone. Finally, once the polish has dried, spray or brush on a new coat of metal lacquer. This will give the brass fireplace screen a new finish that shines and looks great.

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