I have just installed a new shiny brass lock on my seventy-five year old basement door. Does anyone know of anything I can apply to it to make it tarnish or discolor to a dark brown/black so that it will somewhat match the hinges and doorknobs?
If it's a new lockset, it's probably got a coating on it to PREVENT it from darkening. There is lacquer remover you can get at the hardware store to remove that and then it'll darken on its own as the handle is used.
IF the brass is coated with a tarnish preventative, remove it with acetone first. (fingernail polish remover) I have had success darkening brass with ammonia...Keep applying the ammonia, until it darkens...you can also try toilet bowl cleaner or vinegar or oven cleaner or salt water...
I would try rubbing lemon juice over it.
Go to HGTV's web site or Lowe's? They air a commercial that does the very thing that you are asking about. They take a shiny brass light fixture and darken it. Forget what they said, but I'm sure it's on their website.
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