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Brass Tarnishing

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Vic28/11/2019 09:57:36
2400 forum posts
12 photos

Is there anything that can be wiped onto brass tool parts to stop or reduce tarnishing. I suspect most options will be some kind of lacquer but I’m wondering if there are any oil based treatments that can be used instead.

JohnF28/11/2019 10:17:21
919 forum posts
114 photos

Hi Vic, there is a product called Renaissance wax which is by all accounts the stuff to use, I have just ordered some so will report in a week or so when it arrives, however it was recommended to me by a pal who collects vintage paraphernalia and uses it as a protective film, says its wonderful !


Phil H128/11/2019 10:18:08
205 forum posts
33 photos

Hi Vic,

JasonB recommended a product called Metal Guard. It is simply wiped onto the brass parts (I used a cotton bud) and it forms a very thin film so there are no drips or nasty smears. It smells like some form of wax type product (a bit like furniture polish) suspended in a solvent. My guess (I don't know this for sure) is the solvent evaporates leaving a very thin protective layer behind. It is supposed to last for 2 years.

I have tried it on a tiny marine, slide valve engine made mainly from brass and bronze from the scrap box and it has held out well for about 3 months so far.

Phil H

Phil H128/11/2019 10:22:36
205 forum posts
33 photos


Just to add - mine came from ArcEurotrade. If you are doing the polish and display type thing - I'd say that it is excellent.

Phil H

vintage engineer28/11/2019 11:13:17
219 forum posts
1 photos

I tried renaissance wax several times and it's crap. Briwax was the best wax I found to stop tarnishing.

Paul Lousick28/11/2019 12:12:09
1285 forum posts
512 photos

In the early days (I am not that old and only read about it), they used lanolin from sheeps wool to prevent tarnishing and rusting of metal. It is now available at hardware stores in a spray can. Good for your dry hands as well.


Phil P28/11/2019 13:01:18
592 forum posts
164 photos

Just as an aside.

I use the Renaissance wax for final polishing of the cases on marble/slate clocks, on the black ones it is applied after an initial coat of Cherry Blossom black shoe polish.


Vic28/11/2019 13:19:53
2400 forum posts
12 photos

Thanks for the replies folks, much appreciated. I already have some Renaissance Wax so I’ll give that a try. I also have a tube of Lanolin somewhere if that doesn’t work.

Howard Lewis29/11/2019 17:40:37
2733 forum posts
2 photos

Some years ago a lanolin based product used to be available in UK. Mine came in an orange tube.

Needs to be be warmed before application, or it is very sticky and difficult to spread thinly.

Very effective product!


Mick B129/11/2019 18:39:39
1357 forum posts
75 photos

I use Rustin's clear metal lacquer for brass parts and it seems to me to work very well and be quite durable.

What's the rationale behind wanting an oil-based film?

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