Welcome to homelifescience. This is a fun blog where we talk about science, our travels, and neat house ideas we like to do. We are so excited to share with you the ideas that we have found.

Friday, March 23

Pinterest Fail and Spray Paint Save

So I have found a new love in Pinterest. I had resisted joining for some time as I was worried about getting sucked in by all the great stuff, but when my mom joined and conned me into joining too, I fell in love will all the great ideas. In fact, it’s kind of why I started the blog. One of the great things about Pinterest is you see they really neat DIY projects. I love a project I can do myself, especially on the cheap! Since my house has mostly silver, and nickel finishes, it tends to be the decorating color of choice for me. One of the projects that I saw was this DIY project making brass items into a silver finish. I first saw the project on “Our humbled abowed” here. It looked like something that I could totally tackle.
The project has you take Blue Magic Cream and steel wool, rub it into a brass piece and then you get a nice silver finish at the end. So I gleefully (mind you gleefully) went to Goodwill and the Salvation Army to pick up some brass pieces. I want to grab a couple because when I was online looking at how to the project, some people said that it was hard to do with solids brass pieces and worked much better on pieces only with a brass finish.

I ended up picking three pieces; a brass bowl that had a really lovely shape, a small brass vase with some nice detail work, and a rounded brass bowl with cutouts. They cost $1, $2, and $2 respectively. So I was only into the project $5 so far.

I tried to find the blue magic cream at Napa and O’Reilly auto parts, but since neither store had it I ordered it online from Amazon for $5.63. I also picked up some fine steel wool for $2.33. So now I am into the project $12.96.

I am keeping detailed notes here. You can just tell its going to have a bad ending right? So anyways, I start scrubbing the brass items. I scrub and I scrub until I get a nice black residue just like the instructions say. I wipe off the goop, and all I see is nice shiny smooth brass. I repeat everything, same result. I do it again and get the same result.  I throw a small hissy fit. At this point, the frustration is making the scrubbing a little easier. Rather than give up, I tried to pick out what I did wrong, maybe the wool is too fine. 

So I head to Fred Meyers and pick up a variety pack of wool for $2.50 and try again. I used three different grades of steel wool and the items only got cleaner. At this point, I figure that the items are solid brass; the only problem is that they all feel too light to be solids brass. Also, as I scrubbed the tall vase, I was getting a silver color, but it was so tinted yellow that it was hard to call it silver. I even used our Dremel to buff the cream into the  items. It was a smoother application, but did not make them any more silver.

Finally, after talking to my mom, and remembering some good advice. I went to Home Depot and bought a can of chrome spray paint. I mean anything can be fixed with spray paint right? The can cost me $4 and if I had just skipped to that in the first place I would have saved $14.50.
I spray painted the three items outside. I also spray painted a black candle holder that I already had. I thought the chrome might make it stand out a little better. After I let them all dry, I brought them in and put them out in the living room. I love the bowl. Right now we are using it to hold our head phones that we need when we go running. It keeps them from getting lost. The other items I placed out and about as some nice silver touches against all the blue items that I have.
So here is the lesson that I learned; Spray Paint is king!
Ok, ok, not everything goes as planned, but it was sure fun trying it. Plus I ended up need the steel wool to scrap off the silicone finish from the blue magic cream so I could spray paint my stuff. That was useful! J

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