How to Rescue Cheap Plated Brass Door Hardware

I’m painting the door red today, to match the Photoshop mock-up I posted yesterday. The worst part of the door wasn’t the color, though. The hardware is in really terrible shape.

My first thought was spray painting it a nice oil rubbed brass (ORB) finish. Plenty of other people have sprayed doorknobs and blogged about it, and it seems to hold up relatively well. But, judging from the key scratches all over my existing hardware, I know that eventually it would scratch off.

Then, last night I read about this stuff called Blue Magic. Here’s a link to the post where a blogger used it to actually strip the brass plating off to reveal a shiny chrome finish underneath.

I was curious about the stuff, so I started searching for it online. It turns out that it’s mostly used on cars – to polish rims, tailpipes, etc. I bought mine at AutoZone for $6.99. It goes a long way, so a jar will be more than enough for whatever project you purchase it for. Here’s a photo from the company’s site so you can see what it looks like:

The reviews on Amazon revealed that it’s a great polish on lots of other metal things – like jewelry and musical instruments. Without the steal wool the blogger I linked to above used, it didn’t sound like it would completely strip the brass.

I’m not a fan of brass, actually. Not at all. But it seems more appropriate than shiny chrome on a red exterior door. So I skipped the steel wool, and just got to work with blue shop towels and my container of Blue Magic.

The results aren’t perfect, but they’re pretty awesome. Unlike spray paint, the only risk to this finish is that it gets corroded again and needs more cleaning. They won’t scratch, that is.

The key is to buff and buff with clean paper towels. I tried using an old toothbrush to clean it off, but that didn’t work at all. Just rub on some blue magic, and then use a dry section to rub and buff the cleaner. Even after it seems to be all gone, it leaves the corrosive stuff where it can still be buffed away.

Some scratches are still visible, obviously, but this stuff looks more than good enough to me for now.

I’m ready to get a final coat of paint on the door and put it all together!

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Comments

  1. Wow! That IS magic!!! Good to know!!!

  2. Yes magic indeed. Wonder if I can buy it in Australia.

  3. Wow! Impressive. Now that it’s been over a year. How has your hardware been holding up?

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