How to Remove Lacquer from Brass

Brass is gold-coloured alloy of zinc and copper used to make various ornamental instruments. Lacquer is applied to the brass items to protect them from tarnish and deterioration. However, the shiny and glossy protective lacquer layer fade off over the years and the brass beneath tarnishes. It is impossible to polish the brass as long as the lacquer remains. Are you also facing the same problem? Then don’t worry, removing the lacquer is not too difficult. You can easily remove the coating in just a few minutes using commercial or homemade cleaners.

Things Required:

– Commercial lacquer remover
– Baking Soda
– Water
– Acetone
– Solvent Brush
– Cotton or Wool scrub pads
– Soft cloths
– Water Pot
– Stove
– Eye and skin protection
– Heavy gloves and protective gear


  • 1

    Homemade Solution

    Instead of a commercial lacquer remover, you can also use some easily available household items to remove the brass lacquer. All that you would need is Baking Soda and Water. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda to one quart of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Immerse the brass item in the boiling mixture using tongs. Make sure that the item is completely immersed in the water and baking soda mixture. You can add more water and soda in the given proportion. However, if the item is too large to fit or the pot is not large enough to immerse the item completely, only place half of it in the boiling mixture. Let the item sit in the boiling water for a while. After almost 15 minutes of boiling, the lacquer coating will start peeling off. Remove the item from boiling mixture and rinse with hot water. Apply two tablespoon of acetone (or any non-oily nail polish remover) to a cotton or wool pad. Gently scrub the brass item with the pad to remove any remaining stubborn coating of lacquer.

  • 2

    Commercial lacquer remover:

    The easiest and the simplest way to remove the lacquer coating from a brass item is with a commercial lacquer remover. Brush the remover on with the help of a solvent brush. Allow the lacquer remover remain on the brass item for the amount of time mentioned in the instructions before testing a small area. Scrub the item thoroughly using cotton or wool scrub pads. If the lacquer coating sticks in any area, apply a little more remover. Rinse the item under hot water. If there are stubborn bits of lacquer left, use acetone applied on cotton balls to wear it away.

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