Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. As early as 3000 B.C., ancient Syrians were melting copper and tin together to make bronze. Sometimes they would mistakenly use zinc instead of tin and produce brass. The main component is copper, making up about 55% to 95% by weight. Zinc typically makes up the rest of the composition. Brass may contain additional material to add certain properties. These material include lead, iron, arsenic and antimony. Trace amounts of manganese, silicon and phosphorus may also be added. The strength and hardness of brass is greater than pure copper but less than that of steel. It has attractive properties such as being easy to work with, it is an excellent conductor of heat, strong and resistant to salt water corrosion.
Its golden hue makes it an attractive for many decorative items. In ancient times it was used to make coins, mirrors, fixtures for ships, musical instruments and decorations. Bright, highly polished brass was valued for its beauty. Today, antique brass has an appeal. Antique brass gives items a treasured look. It fits in with old world style and shabby chic decor.
This site will give you information on how to age brass and add a beautiful patina. There are a variety of techniques that are simple to do at home to add a beautiful aged look to new brass. The equipment needed is simple and you can use commonly available materials to achieve an antique appearance. Look throughout these pages. There are many tutorials with simple recipes on how to age brass. Always work with safety in mind. Although most of the techniques can be performed with household chemicals, there is still risks involved. Work in a well ventilated area and wear gloves. Clean up thoroughly when you are done. You can try some variations on the techniques outlined to see what custom patinas you can achieve.
Have fun with antiquing brass!