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Author Topic: I'm worried about my brass vase  (Read 1420 times)
Banned user
Thailand Thailand

« on: December 29, 2019, 02:45:46 pm »

Hello everyone,

So I’ve got a problem with my brass vase.Do you polish your brass regularly or polish once and then coat with lacquer?

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciate. Thank inadvance
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 03:04:27 pm by von Corax » Logged
Snr. Officer
United States United States

aka Countess Millicent Addlewood

« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 11:11:25 pm »

So you've polished it and you notice how brilliantly shiny it is... If you coat it with lacquer to keep it from oxidizing:

1) you will lose some of that brilliance, quite a bit actually, even if you lacquer it immediately after polishing it.
It's the nature of lacquer no matter what brand you use.

2) You have to be scrupulous about removing ALL oxidation and also ALL the polish itself before applying the lacquer.
If any remains at all, the lacquer either won't take, or if it does, will soon begin to peel away or rub off in that area.
If the vase is small you may be able to accomplish this yourself. But  the larger the object the more difficult it is to get it immaculately clean enough for the lacquer to adhere.
Not saying it can't be done, but it's kind of iffy, and it's the the reason a lot of people have larger brass objects "professionally" lacquered.
The pros have the right cleaning and polishing materials and dust free chambers, and devices to spray on the lacquer at the right thickness. Pricing can vary widely.

3) You may consider cleaning/polishing it yourself and then applying not lacquer but a high quality polish made for metals (brass, bronze, copper, aluminium, etc). The micro-crystallines (e.g. Ren Wax) work well for that.

Also I would suggest you visit the forums of folks who repair/restore vintage clocks, which typically are made of brass. There is a section where they discuss how to polish brass clocks and maintain the shine.  Example:

Some use lacquer but others don't. I recall one man saying that he uses a specific wax (can't remember the name of it) that once he applies it, the brass stays brilliant for at least 5 years.

I occasionally use the spray on lacquer for really small intricate parts, but more and more, I just highly polish the part, super clean it with acetone, and then wax it with Ren Wax.        
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 12:18:12 am by Deimos » Logged

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Synistor 303
Snr. Officer
Australia Australia

Zenyna Ironbracker

« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2019, 03:58:29 am »

I would go with Demios on this, except to say I would never consider putting lacquer on brass or copper in the first place. Just do the hard yards and clean it when it begins to look dull. A bit of cleaning often is much less work than a huge clean once a year... It always looks so much better than lacquer.
Snr. Officer
United States United States

« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2019, 07:44:13 pm »


I also would like to put in a vote for Ren-Wax.  When using Ren-Wax, like lacquer but not as severe, make sure the vase is as clean as humanly possible. Ren-Wax is also a bit difficult to remove, and if you wax over a goober, it may be there a while.  Ren-Way is removable but needs heat and some solvent.

In between just wax and lacquer is something like INCRALaq, that is supposed to be for copper and copper alloys like brass. And also good for aluminum.  We used this on some nautical items for an old sailing ship and it worked great. In this case, some of the imperfections were wanted and this stuff sealed them in tight.  If it is still available, I am imagining it will be a bit pricey for just one vase, or even small runs of crafted works. 

So, yeah, Ren-Wax


Could somebody Pleeease explain to my mother that it is steam PUNK not steam PIMP!?!
Lord Pentecost
Snr. Officer
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2020, 09:45:49 pm »

I used Halfords enamel lacquer on all the brass and copper on my steampunk PC. Lacquered it around four years ago and it's still shiny. I polished the metal with brasso wadding then left for a few days. I then sprayed with Halfords enamel addesion promotor then the lacquer. I made no special efforts to remove all traces of polish beyond polishing it off with a rag. All I would say is that I would never lacquer anything that is handled regularly regularly handled (walking stick tops, prop-weapons etc) as it is more likely to flake off if you're handling it.

"Any machine is a smoke-machine if you screw up badly enough"
Germany Germany

Custom Builds on Request

« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 12:41:27 am »

You have to use a superthinned clear cellulose will shine just as before if you do it right. If it gets dull, your layer is either too thick, or it was too cold.
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