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New Hardware

Q. I'm missing some hardware on an old piece of furniture. I found some replacements, but they're way too shiny and new-looking.What do I do?

Pat Kinney

A. If your new hardware is solid brass, solid steel, or plated with zinc, you're in luck. There's an easily applied chemical called Brass Ager ($2.75 for 8 oz., see Sources, page 108) that will darken your metal to look like old, patinated hardware. Traditional chemicals such as ammonia and gun-bluing don't work on all three of these metals.

Brass Ager works in minutes and can be used over and over again. Submerge your hardware in Brass Ager and remove it when it reaches the color you want. Polish the hardware with a white cotton cloth to add luster.

Brass Ager won't work on brass-plated hardware. How do you tell what's what? A magnet will stick to brass-plated hardware,but not to solid brass. If the hardware is coated with lacquer, remove the lacquer with paint remover before using Brass Ager. W




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