6 Test Run: DIY Brass to Class

>> Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Last week when a major DIY discovery fell into my lap (summary: a life changing moment when I found out that oven cleaner can turn brass to chrome by removing the brass finish to reveal the metal underneathclick here for full post) I thought of a million projects to tackle…the first being my older than dirt doorknobs.

With plenty of other DIY projects keeping me busy around the construction site, doorknobs have been waaaaaay down the gotta-get-on-that list but if $5.00 worth of oven cleaner would shine these bad boys up, it was worth a shot.


This weekend, the doorknob to my den coat closet (which is actually overflowing with paint cans and bins of puppy food in lieu of coats) was the first guinea pig.

Filthy, I know. No judging, please…


I kicked off this DIY by removing the outer covering of the doorknob…


Assembling my ammo—oven cleaner made for use on cold ovens, rubber gloves and thin steal wool for some serious scrub-a-dubbin’…


Then I lined up the targets and sprayed away…


Let the cleaner sit for 20 minutes or so and scrub with steal wool. Depending on how stubborn the brass finish is, you may need to get some fine grit sandpaper in on the action. I did…


Once the brass finish was removed, I rinsed and dried completely before popping back into place…


Clearly the metal under the brass finish is less stainless/chrome-y and more gold-y and the sandpaper left a fe scratched behind but still much improved. The jury is still out as to whether I want to scrub and polish all of my doorknobs, spray paint or replace with brand new knobs BUT the good news is this DIY brass to class with oven cleaner does work and I’ll never look at brass furniture flips the same.




Dana,  May 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM  

The doorknob looks a whole lot better than it did before. I have a brass light in my kitchen that I am thinking about doing this same thing to. Do you think it will work on a light?

Cara @ Live the Home Life May 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM  

I bet you could! If you are really attached to the light (from g-ma's dining room or your mom would kill you if you DIY-ed it) maybe try the brass removal via oven cleaner process on a smaller item first...but if the light is something you could live without if you are not crazy about how it turns out, then go for it sister!

Best case: you have a much improved light fixture that you can brag to your friends about.

Worst case: you have a great excuse to go shopping for a new light!


Pink Overalls @DIY Home Staging May 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM  

I like this idea. I think it's a great solution to a common problem, so I pasted a link to it on my Face Book Group Page. Thank you.

Cara @ Live the Home Life May 9, 2012 at 3:57 PM  

Thank you for sharing with your readers! Love that!


DogsMom May 10, 2012 at 6:15 AM  

So, you were watching Goodwill Hunting on Nate, eh?
I figured there would be people running to try that tip!
Glad you shared the results with us.

Cara @ Live the Home Life May 10, 2012 at 8:26 AM  

My friend Kathy saw the segment on Nate and was telling me about it. Amazing!


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