I am still desperately searching for a way to lacquer brass serving
utensils. A suggestion was made to look into powder coating, but an
acquaintance told me that that is very thick looking. I checked
with Rio and they said to absolutely NOT use their lacquer product.
I also tried Woodworker’s Supply since they have finishes for wood
implements, however, they said that they don’t have anything
appropriate. Does anybody have any other ideas I might follow up
on. Thanks . Linda email@example.com
I am still desperately searching for a way to lacquer brass serving
I hate to bring a downer for you but I think you’re trying to make a
chocolate teapot! Brass is the wrong material to use for food! There
is an added danger of the lacquer wearing off in use as well. Don’t
What you can do though is to plate the items after raising them. As
an “apprentice” we all had to make martini beakers. They were plated
silver on the outside and gold inside. They looked fabulous!
Key West Florida 33040
Dear Linda, Her are the two best coatings in the world.
First - Durachem Y291 is a clear coating that is impossible to
remove. Info can be obtained from Mass & Waldstein Co at:
201-484-1600. You bake it at 325 F for ten minutes. Impossible to
remove. Get the tech data sheet. I’m not sure if they sell direct or
not. They have the best coating you will ever use. It may be
available from the Seagrave Coating Corp. also. 201-933-1000
Second - Eastwood Diamond Bare Metal Clear Coat from the Eastwood
Co. 1-800-345- 1178. Don’t know as much about this one.
Have you tried G.J Nikolas at http://www.finish1.com/ They have all
sorts of lacqures for metal.
Keep them waxed with beeswax. I can’t think of anything else I would
want to eat that would act as a non tarnish coating on brass.
Are you hoping to find something that will permit the use of brass
as a container for hot foods? If so, I think that you should quit
looking. I have never heard of a way to use brass or copper in such
a manner. The only way that I can think of would be to “tin” it. In
other words, coat the whole inside with pure tin.
Hello Linda, Brass does get grungy/tarnished easily, so I totally
understand why you’d want to avoid having to constantly clean it.
If “serving utensils” are limited to containers like urns and coffee
pots, the visible part - the outside - can be polished then coated
with several light coats of a clear lacquer. I would not coat the
interior or any part of the utensil that will be in contact with food
or beverage. Even if non-toxic, such coatings are subject to wear
and can be scratched. The clear coating also limits how the utensil
can be washed. No dishwasher or scrubbies; just gentle mild soap and
soft cloth. Here’s the clear lacquer I’ve used on brass and silver
plate. It’s about the most durable, invisible, non-yellowing lacquer
I know of, but I certainly have not used them all. #2105 Clear
Lacquer (12 oz. aerosol can) made by G.J.Nikolas & Co, Inc. 2800
Washington, Bellwood IL 60104. Do a Google search for their
website. Judy in Kansas
I am still desperately searching for a way to lacquer brass serving utensils. A suggestion was made to look into powder coating, but an acquaintance told me that that is very thick looking. I checked with Rio and they said to absolutely NOT use their lacquer product. I also tried Woodworker's Supply since they have finishes for wood implements, however, they said that they don't have anything appropriate. Does anybody have any other ideas I might follow up on. Thanks . Linda firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Linda! You can easily make your own food-safe “spirit varnish” for
brass, wood, etc. - by solving 100 grams of Gum Mastic in 400
milliliters of pure ethyl alcohol. (Gum Mastic grows only on the
island of Chios, in Greece. It was the world’s first chewing gum,
one of the world’s first types of incense, and it is still used as a
spice in many varieties of Middle Eastern cuisine. Mastic, solved in
turpentine, was the preferred varnish for wooden yachts, until its
price became prohibitive. Until quite recently, turp-solved Mastic
was also preferred over Dammar as a protective varnish for oil
The best way to find Gum Mastic is to search the Web for Lebanese
(or other Middle Eastern) cooking supply houses. A suitable alcohol
for your purpose is “EverClear” brand. (Everclear is 180 proof, so
don’t even think about taking a sip while you work! …and keep
it away from open flame!)
Recipe for Spirit Varnish:
Pour 400 milliliters of “Everclear” into a quart Mason jar. Wrap
100 grams of Mastic “tears” inside several layers of cheesecloth -
then tie the cloth into a tight bundle with white cotton thread.
Drop the bundle of Mastic into the alcohol, and close the lid of the
Mason jar with an airtight cap.
Allow three days, at room temperature, for the Mastic to dissolve.
Apply multiple coats of the finished laquer to your serving utensils
by repeatedly submerging the utensils in the laquer and allowing
them to dry thoroughly between applications.
The dried coating is surprisingly resistant to water. (Of course,
it’s no more heat resistant than any other brass laquer; but it has
the advantages of being completely non-toxic, and quite easy to
reapply later on in the life of the utensil.)
Hope this helps!
Keep them waxed with beeswax. I can't think of anything else I would want to eat that would act as a non tarnish coating on brass.
Could you tell me more about how one would apply a beeswax coating?
Would this also be suitable for copper? I don’t want to eat from
it, but I’m interested in a natural coating that would preserve a
patina on a finished copper piece.
Waxes are excellent coatings to retard the actions of the
environment on patinas. Their draw back is that they are not as
durable as some of the more modern coatings. But they fail in a much
more benign manner they just wear away rather than the chipping and
flaking of harder more “durable” coatings. All coatings require
maintenance, stripping and re-applying every so often. Waxes are
much easier to re-do so why not use one that is easy to re-apply.
Warm the beeswax it until it melts, warm the work to keep the wax
from freezing on contact and to drive off surface water and then
apply with a brush or soft cloth. A more durable wax coating can be
made from carnuba which is a very hard vegetable wax and bees wax
melted and mixed together. By varying the proportions the hardness
of the coating can be controlled. By adding a solvent like
turpentine or mineral spirits to the wax and allowing it to sit
overnight in a tightly capped jar you can make a paste wax that will
be easy to apply at room temperature. Or you can just go out and buy
Renaissance Paste Wax which is probably the best metal preservative
wax available. It is used to protect many of the fine metals in
museum collections around the world.
Go to any Home depot etc…
Pick up a spray can of Bullseye Clear shellac…
Shellac can be sprayed on metal and is basically non toxic, at least
when the shellac has dried… That is why they use it for kids
It is about 99% organic / made from insects…
Would this also be suitable for copper? I don't want to eat from it, but I'm interested in a natural coating that would preserve a patina on a finished copper piece.
Hi brigid: I have two raised copper bowls that are now about 8
years old - both of them were waxed with Johnson paste wax - several
coats. They have never lost their original patina (one was colored
using heat treating) nor tarnished and both appear at this time to be
in good shape. I’ve washed them in warm sudsy water from time to
time and apparently the wax does a good job of protecting the surface
from oxidation. Originally I put on several heavy coats of wax,
rubbing vigorously each time to a high shine.