Hi everyone! I hope you had a great week. The birthday celebration we planned for my mother’s 80th Birthday–some of which she knew about in advance and some was a surprise–went off without a hitch this past Wednesday. We girls had a lovely afternoon together and then the fellows and grandkids joined in for a special dinner. Take a peek at the end of the post at the beautiful cake my sweet sister-in-law chose for the event–absolutely stunning. Today I’m sharing a metal cleaning process that I’ve mentioned in the past (Desk Makeover), but now it will be part of my “Clean & Care for Vintage” series and is easily accessible on my navigation bar (up top) under that heading.
About a year and a half ago, our van came to a screeching halt. At my panic-y request, my sweet husband slammed on the brakes. What terrible emergency had caused such a ruckus? No emergency, just some good looking junk on the side of the road. Of course (lol). What initially caught my eye was a large piece of old wood, which turned out to be a beautiful piece of cherry, leaning against a piece of furniture. A desk top and bottom, as it turned out. I didn’t think it very kind to take the top but leave the bottom, so we loaded the [very large] desk into our van. The brass lion pulls you see here belonged to that desk (now taken apart for scrap). They are a handsome set, but in need of some polishing, right?
Because the tarnish was heavy, I knew I needed to give the pulls an overnight soaking in one part salt to two parts lemon juice–just enough to cover the pulls. While this concoction often removes light tarnish, in this case it would not be strong enough, but it would loosen it enough so that the next step is much easier.
You’re probably going to have to go to the store to buy this product–MAAS–but I highly recommend it for cleaning just about any kind of metal, including silver. However, without the pre-soak in the lemon-salt, it would have taken a very long time to clean the pulls with just the MAAS.
But these two steps together make the perfect one-two punch that allowed some of the brass to shine through, while leaving tarnish in the crevices so the pulls retain their nice, vintage appeal.
The coppery hairdresser medallion received the same treatment and looks wonderful now.
To clean this Victrola plate, I used just the MAAS, and it worked beautifully, as you can see.
But the real show stoppers are the lion head pulls. They are ready to be added to some fabulous vintage or vintage-style project, a desk or small dresser perhaps? Heck I just enjoy having them sitting on my desk, they are that lovely. Anyone interested in owning them can check out the “Smalls” section of my Vintage Shop.
My mother’s Birthday cake:
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