I've been searching on Craigslist lately for all things brass and glass. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a set of faux bamboo inspired "brass" nesting tables within my price range. They were about an hour away so I jumped in the car and headed out to get them! They had been spray painted over in white so I knew I'd have to strip the paint to get to the "brass"... or brass-plating as I now know. I know that a solid brass piece would cost a pretty penny so brass-plated furniture would be my next choice.
Here they are "as-is" when I bought them
I met @west23rdstvintage (aka Kristy) while browsing her awesome Craigslist finds on Instagram (check out her IG, she finds the BEST stuff!) who told me of Citristrip, a gel-based paint stripper. My hubby went to our local hardware store and came back with this...
I was slightly skeptical as I looked at the bottle. This stuff is going to take off paint?! It was gooey, smelled really nice and didn't look menacing at all like paint stripper should look.
Boy was I WRONG.
I painted the orange goo onto the first table and by the time I got each leg covered, the paint on the first three legs started to bubble and pucker. Since this was my first time at the rodeo, I had a small scraper and was unequipped to deal with the aftermath that was the shedding paint off the brass.
The next day, I bought the after wash that Citristrip sells. Once again, I was inequipped and used a thick pair of rubber gardening gloves which lead to a minor chemical burn on my left thumb. After my project, we were having guests over and I thought I had dyed my thumb red from all of the cherries I'd chopped to go into a sangria (that post is definitely coming soon!)!!! Nope. I'd successfully peeled off a couple of layers of skin. I dressed it daily with Aquaphor and a festive band-aid and it has successfully healed after a week. LESSON LEARNED: WEAR THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT!
After my thumb fiasco, I tried to polish them since the brass was worn in a few spots. Did you know that ketchup can polish brass? Thanks to Google, I also learned that Coca-Cola and lemon juice can also do the same. The citric acid eats at the tarnish.
After realizing that this would take forever and the tarnish is actually rust in some places, I'd decided to spray paint them. And the finished product...
HOORAY!!! My first furniture restore! I have had this striped box/basket that I bought from The Container Store and since I'm incorporating stripes into this room, I thought this would be a good place to store throw blankets.
More to come... :)