Possible Problems & Solutions in Tarnishing
Possible Problems & Solutions in Tarnishing

Tarnishing is not a predictable process. Many factors can affect the outcome. We can try and talk you through some possible scenarios but some experimentation on your part may be necessary.

The problem that will be evident immediately is if an item will not tarnish. Keep in mind what was previously stated – that is that plated brass will not tarnish. So after you have put a piece in the solution, you should see it starting to darken within 10-15 seconds. If there is no change (and you know it is solid brass), then the problem is probably that there is a lacquer finish present. You will need to strip the lacquer off in order for the Brass Darkening Solution to work.

To strip the lacquer off you can soak the hardware over night in lacquer thinner. If this does not work then you will have to use a paint stripper. After stripping the lacquer off the hardware, repeat the tarnishing instructions.

Another problem that may occur is the appearance of an odd, sometimes undesirable color after the tarnishing. Sometimes a copper-like color will appear or an iridescent color. If polishing with a soft, clean cloth doesn’t work then try “0000” steel wool. The next thing to try to bring back the gold tones even more is a brass polish. We carry Nevr-Dull which I really like because it is cotton wad soaked in polish. You can brush the piece of hardware lightly on the top surface and leave the deeper cracks dark for a more “antique” look. You have more control with this product than with a liquid polish.