How to Age Brass

It's possible to mimic the surface oxidation of antique brass objects by using the following techniques.

You will need

  • Protective gear
  • Brass object
  • Acetone
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot water
  • Vinegar
  • Salt water
  • Heat source
  • Commercial aging product
  • Large plastic bag
  • Rag
  • Ammonia
  • Expert (optional)

Step 1 Remove any varnish Remove any varnish from the surface of the object by applying acetone with a brush. Rinse off the acetone with hot water.

Step 2 Brush vinegar or salt water on the surface Brush vinegar or salt water over the entire surface of the object using the paintbrush. Both liquids oxidize the brass.

Step 3 Apply heat Apply heat or a flame to the object, which causes the brass object to take on an aged appearance relatively quickly.

Step 4 Use a commercial aging product Apply an over-the-counter aging product, though it may leave a color deposit on the object’s surface that wears off easily during normal use.

Step 5 Use ammonia Place the object in a large plastic bag next to a rag soaked in ammonia. Ammonia vapor produces a greenish-brown oxide finish on brass, close in color to a natural patina.