Keeping brass untarnished

HI there Orchid Landers,

I need a bit of advice: I’ve made a rather lovely brass pendant and
gave it a high polish. I need to know how to keep that polish for as
long as possible? I’ve made others in the past, and the great polish
started to tarnish really quickly. What’s the best way to keep away
the tarnish?

Thanks in advance
Love this website, so informative and inclusive.

A REAL GOOD LACQUER is one way, a catalyzed clear coat is even
better. Might talk with a powder coater and see if they could powder
coat it with cleat without “bothering” the polish. Wax will sort of
work but is temporary at best. Gold plating would be one last thing I
can think of… not brass but will stay shiny…

John Dach

Unfortunately, brass and copper are going to tarnish quickly, no
matter what you do. There are waxes and spray plastic coatings which
can help slow this tarnishing, but they are not that durable in the
long run.

As gold, silver, and platinum go still higher in price, it stands to
reason that copper, pewter, and brass will get used more as jewelry

Jay Whaley

I had a spelling error see below. I fixed it and it is in RED. I also
want to say that some of the catalyzed clear coats are EXTREMELY
tough, especially PAR 15 products. This can be a bit tough to find
but can be worth the search if it works for you. Also contact the PRA
15 folks on the internet, they may be able to direct you to a
retailer. It can be tough figuring how to get this material applied
(runs, orange peel, etc.) but if you can figure it out, it is a
coating that will outlast anything I have ever found. The Urethane
clear coat gets tougher with exposure to moisture (body moisture) so
it might be the thing in certain situations. I use if on copper and
bronze elements (polished) that are to go outside. Incralac is
another product, a lacquer, made especially for copper alloys, lasts
outside for 15 years, then can easily be removed and reapplied when
it starts to turn milky. Used on bronze sculpture and architectural
elements of copper alloys. Just some thoughts…

John Dach

I wouldn’t recommend lacquering or spraying it with something, since
this coating will eventually wear off in places, necessitating a
tiresome remove-and-re-do job.

Dip (never soak!) it in Tarn-X, rinse well, dry, rub with a
silver-polishing cloth. This only takes a few seconds. Sometimes,
just rubbing it with the cloth will do.

Try waxing it, and see how this works with the type of wear you give

To slow tarnishing, patina your piece in Jax Black, then rub off
most of the color with a slurry of pumice and water.

Judy Bjorkman
Owego, NY

I have had excellent results with Renniasance Microcrystalline wax
applied to warmed Brass, Bronze and copper.