Monday, April 15, 2013

Brass is back!

They say Brass is back.
You can read all about it here at Sand and Sisal...

I sure hope so.
Our house is an 80 year old Center Hall Colonial
with the original brass hardware and fixtures.
We bought it in the eighties when shiny brass was king.

Imagine our horror as we watched home fashions change-
chrome replaced brass 
and then brushed nickel came long and then oil rubbed bronze.... 
our poor house was hopelessly out of style.

But what is a "purist" homeowner to do?
Every change we've made to this house has been made with one goal in mind-
What would have been done when the home was built?
What would the material have been?  
What would be true to the period the home was designed in?
Replacing good, solid, original hardware 
to keep up with home fashion trends was out of the question.
And so we never did.

We have recently been doing some spring sprucing up around here.
It started with our son's bedroom
and then it began "snowballing" into hallways and down the stairs and into other rooms...
Much has begun to happen, but little has been finished...

One bright spot has been the happy restoration of the brass hardware on the doors.
Our painter and all around house magician, Dan, took it upon himself to polish a door knob 
with a bit of steel wool, and Wow!
What was old and tarnished and ugly 

is once again polished and regal and beautiful.

The 80 year old doors are thick with paint 
and the hardware was not always removed 
as it should have been when things were repainted (GUILTY) 

but Dan cleaned it all up and it looks wonderful now. 

The doors have been sanded and scraped and puttied 
and years of careless painting and neglect have been erased.

This single door knob

also underwent the treatment and looks much better now, too.

There's still a bit of a patina on the door knobs, which I like 
and which I think would have been ruined if Dan had used a chemical brass polish. 

The steel wool did the job so nicely
that we've asked him to do all of the hardware as he paints each room.

This partly explains why nothing is finished...
but a lot is happening.

Linking to:
Trendy Tuesday at Sweet Little Gals
The Scoop at Cedarhill Ranch
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Tuesdays at Knick of Time Interiors

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  1. Beautiful Erin! Everything always comes back doesn't it!

  2. I think it's important that you hold true to the purity your home embodies. Yes you could make the interior of your home match that of a new high rise in Chicago, but it would clash. It would lose the historical character and soul. I think this inspires people to remember that what they have can work as is- if carefully addressed. Why rush on your projects? Look forward to more transformations!

  3. Lucky you for not changing those out. They are beauties.

  4. They're beautiful - and I would have spray painted them 10 times by now - I'm so bad............!
    Lucky you!

  5. WOW. What a difference. Those knobs are gorgeous.

  6. Oh my, didn't they polish up beautifully! I think your painter magician guy is a keeper . . . Thrilled you remained a "purist" instead of getting caught up in "current home fashion hype!"

  7. I have always loved brass and your hardware is fabulous. My house is full of it too, so I am thrilled everyone thinks it is wonderful again. Yours is stunning all shined up. Thanks so much for joining Inspire Me.

  8. It looks pretty. We cleaned the brass ones we had, and put something different where knobs were missing; it actually looks okay because it is a cottage.

  9. I love brass...especially in a Colonial setting. My house is also full of brass and I'm constantly on the lookout for more at every estate sale. If I come upon a Virginia Metalcrafters item or Baldwin Brass, you can be sure I'm pouncing on it if the price is right. Some things are classic. When you look at how the Colonial mansions were decorated, they were so beautiful then and still beautiful now. It's just a style of decorating that never goes out. How fortunate you are to have the original brass in your house and that you were able to make it beautiful again.

  10. Good, I love brass!!! Your brass is just beautiful Erin! Those doorknobs are a real treasure!

  11. That's the great thing about classic traditional ... never goes out of style!
    They are beautiful!!!

  12. Beautiful! I love the fact that you left the original - priceless! :-)

  13. Hi- I didn't read any of the above comments, so I'll tell you what I use on brass. Barkeepers Friend. It works like majic on brass. Give it a try, it is usually at the grocery store by the cleaning supplies. Paula

  14. I love that you are keeping the original charm of the house. Our house was built in 1928 and we have glass doorknobs on most doors.

  15. Hey Erin, were those knobs solid brass? I have door plates that I'd like to clean up but I'm pretty sure they're only brass plated and I wonder if the steel wool would scrape the plating right off. Any suggestions???

  16. I almost bought brass knobs for our kitchen a few months back but chickened out and went with oil rubbed bronze. It would have looked gorgeous but since I'm not sure how long we will be in our current place, I thought it might have been too forward for a future owner. Your original hardware is gorgeous! Makes me want to go around and clean ours...... Or hire someone to do it... Can I have Dan's number? ;)


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