Tips & Tricks Antiquing Brass

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Zhi-don, Mar 18, 2008.

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  1. Zhi-don Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 2
    Does anyone know how to make shiney brass look old? Short of leaving it out in the weather for days. I have a sword that I need to antique to look used.
  2. Smiling-Otter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2001
    star 3
    I've found that gun bluing liquid will darken brass very well.
  3. Zhi-don Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 2
    How dark does it make the brass look? I had heard about blueing and gun black, but was worried it would be too dark.
  4. abodeofthedamned Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2004
    star 1
    If you're looking for a light tarnish try, um, urinating on it. The ammonia in urine will cause brass to tarnish. (I'm not making this up) Apparently it's fairly common amongst civil war re-creators.
  5. Smiling-Otter Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2001
    star 3
    Yeah, in that case I'd just use ammonia!

    With the gun blue, I've been able to control how dark it gets by wiping it off when it gets to the proper color. I'd certainly experiment on other pieces first...
  6. abodeofthedamned Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2004
    star 1
    *Sighs* I'm sorry to say that I had used this technique. It really only serves to 'knock down' the shininess of the brass. It's an inexpensive way to lightly age brass though. Use the first pee of the day as it's the most acidic (that comes from my make-up class... don't ask, though it involves a rumor about Elvis) There is another technique called ammonia fuming for aging brass. It requires seating the brass on a 'hammock' of cheese cloth or some other highly porous cloth in a sealed container with some ammonia to age it.

    Something that you might want to look into that does'n't involve pee or smelly chemicals is Brass Antiquing Solution.
  7. Zhi-don Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 2
    Thanks. Brass antiquing sounds like what I was looking for. Of course, I was going to try ammonia, but since I have no place to do this but my living room or kitchen, my wife might not like the idea. Needless to say, I'm sure my cat wouldn't either. Urinating? Yes, that does sound like a civil war enactment idea. They really believe in doing things in a realistic way. Some fool suggested I drag my pirate vest behind my car for an hour to make it look used and worn. They would have suggested the same thing, but using a horse. I can just see what would happen when stuff comes out of the south bound end of a north bound horse. Good thing I don't have one. Horse that is.
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