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Brass Darkening Solution, 2 oz.
Brass Darkening Solution, 2 oz. Item #73808
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$6.99 Each
Brass Darkening Solution, 8 oz.
Brass Darkening Solution, 8 oz. Item #34477
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$14.99 Each
Brass Darkening Solution, 32 oz.
Brass Darkening Solution, 32 oz. Item #30383
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$34.99 Each

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Darkening Solution

Give new brass hardware the look of a seasoned antique.
Item #
GRP978
Rating:
80% of 100

If you own restoration hardware you should have a bottle of Darkening Solution. This solution effectively antiquates or darkens brass, copper or bronze. It changes the color gradually so you can control the darkness of your hardware. Easy to apply. For solid brass only. Not for use on lacquered brass or brass-plated surfaces.

(1) Darkening Solution
More Information
Weight 2.3100
Size 2 oz, 8 oz, Quart
4.0 / 5.0
33 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
21
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1
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6
Darkening Solution
What a product? Very easy and worked as advertised.
September 3, 2019
Purchased
4 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
Intermediate
Does the trick nicely.
This product works great for when I create an old looking piece and the hardware or screws are all shiny and new, love it!
Brass screws nicely patinated
Brass screws nicely patinated
December 11, 2017
Purchased
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Advanced
Does a reasonable job.
This is another product which does what it is supposed to.
July 16, 2017
Purchased
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Intermediate
Wonderful for Aging Brass
I repair and restore antique clocks. I discovered this solution years ago while on vacation in Pennsylvania. I find it indispensable for matching new cabinet hardware to the original. It often prevents my having to replace a complete set of hinges, knobs, etc. Buy it. You won't be disappointed.
February 19, 2017
Purchased
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Intermediate
Brass Darkening Solution
I was very impressed with the instant results of the Brass Darkening Solution. I used it on a new brass watch to give it an aged patina, and other treatments took much longer with uneven results. I just submerged the watch case into a cup of the solution and I could see it transforming within the first minute, it was amazing.
October 19, 2015
Purchased
over 4 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Beginner
It works!
The transformation doesn't happen before your eyes - it does take a day or so but it worked great on my guest room sink drain that I accidentally stripped the color off of. Glad I got it.
August 2, 2015
Purchased
over 4 years ago
Seriously good stuff
We're selling our house and I needed a quick and inexpensive fix for all of the shiny brass cabinet hardware to bring our house to the current century. This filled the bill. One bottle later, we had antiqued brass hardware, which is fortunately now in style. (BTW, our house sold to the first person that looked at it. Really!)
June 16, 2015
Purchased
over 4 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Beginner
Awesome for almost any metal!
This is an awesome solution for anyone looking to age hardware for a project. I have used it on brass as it is intended for but also on other hardware, it will turn shiny zinc coated hardware dark like raw steel in seconds. I apply it to any metal that needs dulling or darkening.
May 28, 2015
Purchased
over 4 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Advanced
I like the darkening solution very much. I never found anything else that worked as well. I will recommend it.
May 15, 2015
Purchased
over 4 years ago
I used this product to darken...
I used this product to darken the new brass hinges for my wife's Hoosier Cabinet. It did an excellent job but oil form your finger prints will show in the darkening process I solved this problem by washing the hinges with Acetone and held them with hemostats so no finger prints showed up.
February 5, 2011
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 32 questions Browse 32 questions and 62 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
Need brass to look older and cooler.
Steve J on Jun 5, 2018
I don't care for the bright brass look, been wanting a product for this, I finally found it on your site
Rose C on May 12, 2018
Need brass to look older and cooler.
Steve J on Jun 5, 2018
Used many times with great results.
Janice D on May 16, 2018
I don't care for the bright brass look, been wanting a product for this, I finally found it on your site
Rose C on May 12, 2018
I bought a panart combat station, the kit has two brass cannon plus other parts that need to be dark.
arnold s on May 8, 2018
Product woks great have used it for years.
Tommy H on Mar 21, 2018
Need to restore dark finish on solid brass cabinet knobs.
Banjo Billy on Mar 18, 2018
To darken a bronze metal cap
Kevin B on Mar 6, 2018
For some oil rubbed bronze hardware
David K on Feb 1, 2018
To darken the hinges to match the bronze color I needed.
Kathleen P on Jan 17, 2018
Ive used this before and really worked well.
Kimberly P on Nov 29, 2017
to make my creation hardware look believably older
Barney L on Nov 20, 2017
I need to darken my faucet and handles which have faded to a copper color from the original bronze finish.
doug t on Nov 8, 2017
I am trying to darken the shiny brass items in my house to a more natural brass color. The new color for this year is aged brass, natural brass, and gold.
Becky H on Oct 26, 2017
bracelet is to shiny
meredith m on Aug 26, 2017
To bring out the etch in older hand saws. It works!<br />Check Sawmill Creek blog to see discussion.
Glenn T on Jun 23, 2017
Oil rubbed bronze finish has rubbed off some of my door knobs over time, making them lighter in color and a little shiny. I'm hoping this solution will re-darken them.
Gwen L on Jun 21, 2017
reviews and comments
Kari D B on Jun 2, 2017
It's what the job called for.....
Bruce C on Apr 11, 2017
It was recommended in Woodsmith Magazine
Christopher K on Mar 16, 2017
I'm a silversmith and going to use it to dull down brass.
robert m on Mar 15, 2017
same as above
Pat Q on Feb 23, 2017
I purchased this product because I am hoping that it will help restore our oil rubbed bronze Copper sinks :)
Carolyn Diane N on Jan 28, 2017
Used it before
John S on Dec 16, 2016
Use it all the time to darken steel- bare or nickel plated- turns a nice darkish black
Refinish the patina on a copper sink.
Patrick P on Nov 24, 2016
I thought it would age some brass miniature light fixtures. It didn't work.
Sandra J. O on Nov 2, 2016
Have used painted brass fixtures that I want to darken.
Clea L on Aug 29, 2016
Darken new brass bands on antique chandelier.
Lula K. C on Aug 23, 2016
to put dark patina back on cleaned brass objects.
ellen p on May 29, 2016
We are attempting to repair an oil rubbed bronze light fixture's finish.
Melissa H on May 20, 2016
new house with expensive door handles and locks.<br />hopefully this will freshen the look without replacing them.
Regina R on May 16, 2016
i have bathroom hardware ,,,,that the finish is wearing down. The handles are bright colored with dark spots. so i am hoping this will help. don't want to replace the handles.
Caryn R on May 10, 2016
I have new bronze bands I'm installing on drawers and would like then to have a nice patina.
Brian C on May 6, 2016
I used it before and like the results.
Nick M on Apr 3, 2016
darken a vintage brass pan chandelier
Anna W on Mar 27, 2016
In order to antique some brass hooks
Ms. Regina F on Dec 12, 2015
for brass grill darkening/antiquing. Have used before and it does the job.
George B on Oct 23, 2015
Needed a product to darken a shiny brass door handle I have.
Jennifer G on Oct 8, 2015
online recommendation
claudia h on Sep 26, 2015
I restore antique firearms.
Gary B on Sep 22, 2015
housekeeper damaged my shower head finish....
Kelly K on Sep 13, 2015
I have 16 perfectly good solid brass knobs that I'd like to use but they are so shiny and need to be aged!! Hope this works!!
Jennifer H on Aug 1, 2015
I'm looking to give an oil rubbed bronze look to my brass hinges.
Christine S on Jul 28, 2015
Because it appears to be suitable for my needs.
John K on Jul 18, 2015
to darken brass sheet
Cliff K on May 24, 2015
Onlyn item available to refinish oil rubbed bronze fixtures.
Daryl R on May 16, 2015
From others who have used this product
thomas b on May 9, 2015
Need for project, darkening brass screws.
North G on Apr 15, 2015
Used many times with great results.
Janice D on May 16, 2018
I bought a panart combat station, the kit has two brass cannon plus other parts that need to be dark.
arnold s on May 8, 2018
Does this work on bronze sinks?
Elysa K on Apr 29, 2015
BEST ANSWER: This is not recommended for sinks or plumbing fixtures.
how much would I need to do set of faucets for two sinks......?
A shopper on May 8, 2015
BEST ANSWER: This product is not recommended for sinks or plumbing fixtures. It is suggested for solid brass items that are unlacquered that can be submersed in the solution, such as furniture knobs, pulls or hinges.
how does this work if you have to brush the product on object instead of dipping object into it?
A shopper on May 8, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I brushed it onto my refridgerator handles with a sponge brush and let it dry....many coats. It was taking a long time. Then I saturated a paper towel with the product and wrapped it around my fridge handle...used some tape to secure it and kept wetting the paper towel as it was drying out. My oil rubbed bronze handles had been 'scratched' down to the brass...maybe from wedding rings?? not sure. The darkening solution did work, however it hasn't lasted all that long...couple of months... and I need to repeat the process. But the fridge is heavily used. Good luck!
I'm considering darkening brass hinges on my kitchen cabinets. How dark can I go? In other words, will the darkened hinges go with black hardware ?
Sarah Elyse S on Sep 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: If you soak them, remove them and buff them with a cloth, then soak them again, they will get to an almost black color.
Can I use this for darkening brass or brass coated faucets in a bathroom......? If not, why not?
J c on May 8, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Yes, I used it on my btass brass fixtures but you need enough of the liquid to sumerge the parts, and you have to remove the clear coating on the fixtures first, to get down to the bare brass. I used a spray on paint/varnish remover. I darkened my fixtures to look like oil rubbed bronze, and no one can tell they weren't purchased that way,works great!
I would like to darken a twin brass bed. How can I do that without immersing it? Otherwise, I would have to purchase a tremendous amount of darkener.
Taryn D on Mar 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I Use this darken solution to darken brass knight heads for staffs I build every year. It can take a lot if only I would submerse them.
Try using a cotton ball with a pair of gloves or pliers. Wipe the entire piece quickly and let dry completely. Using several coats you can darken a bit more each time. After the first coat wipe on the following coats gently without rubbing too hard. It is possible to rub off the first coat with the second. If your pressure is constantly too much, try a chip or natural hair brush to apply the coats. It takes a bit of time. The longer you let each coat dry the easier it is not to rub off.
Carl P. Choquette
CAN YOU REUSE USED SOLUTION
JOAN J on Mar 8, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes you can, I usually pour mine back in the bottle and reuse. It will lengthen the time for the solution to work as time goes on and the amount of times used. Usually the darker the older it gets.
Do you use the product straight or mixed with water?
A shopper on May 27, 2015
BEST ANSWER: You use this straight not mixed with anything. I usually pour this into another container just enough to cover the pieces you want to darken. I have used this with brass but you must remove the laquer that most brass pieces are coated with, rubbed with acetone and then lightly sanded with a fine grit sandpaper usually works. This is amazing on other metals as well, I buy zinc coated hardware and then dip them in this for a few seconds and they are instantly dark, looking like raw steel. It is awesome because it saves me so much time vs trying to age hardware with vinegar or other solutions and it is not toxic to use.
Does this solution damage glass or crystal? I have found an older chandelier that seems near impossible to take apart, and I was wondering if I were to rotate as I submerged the piece bit by bit would the darkening solution etch or cause damage to the glass? Has anyone had any experience attempting a similar project?
Maria Teresa B on Jun 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I have used a clear glass jar before to dip parts and it washes off completely with no residue or damage. I assume it would work with no problems if the glass is not frosted or coated.
will this Darken new bronze cabinet pulls?
s w on May 27, 2018
BEST ANSWER: It’s hard to tell. It depends on what the pulls are actually made of and whether they’re clear coated. I have had good luck with everything from steel screws and bolts to brass hardware. Whatever the metal, you must strip the clear coat first. I use acetone for that. Just soak the pulls over night and the clear coat will scrub off fairly easily.
Will this work on a brass exterior door kick plate? Want a darker oil rubbed finish to match new door hardware. Thanks.
Loraine R on Apr 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: If the door kick doesn’t have a clear coating on it the solution will work. I used this solution on a brass door knocker and it worked beautifully. Just make sure to remove all oils before submerging in the darkening solution. If you don’t the color will be uneven.
I have brass items that turned silverish in color when I cleaned them. I want the yellow-gold brass color back. Can someone tell me how to restore the gold brass color? Thanks so much.
Margaret C on Jun 10, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It sounds like possibly your items were not 'solid' brass and you removed the plated layer. I did the same thing with silver plate and if I want it to go back to original I will have to have them plated again
We have oil rubbed bronze knobs and faucets. Some of them are beginning to "wear off" the bronze finish exposing a more "brass" finish. Could this be used to restore the bronze color to the knobs and faucets?
Sabrina F on Feb 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The first question is whether the parts are really brass. A lot of those finishes are applied to aluminum or steel or even plastic.
If the pieces are really brass, i suppose you could simply soak the parts to darken the worn areas and reapply the clear coat, but you'll end up with an uneven finish. In order to refinish them properly you'd have to strip the old finish down to raw brass and soak them in the bds to the desired shade, dry them and apply a clear coat to preserve. If you want a really dark patina soak them more than once.
In any case, you'll need a lot more than a few ozs to do this. More like a gallon.
I am considering buying two wall sconces that are shiny brass (both are brand new). I love the lights but would prefer an antique finish. Could I use this product to age them? And is do, how much product would I need? They are pharmacy style swing arm wall lamps with brass cord covers.
Lynne M on Aug 31, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Assuming the fixtures are really brass, they are likely polished and clear-coated. In this case, you'd have to remove the clear coat and then soak in the darkening solution.

In my experience the parts have to be submerged in the solution to darken the surface with any regularity. I've done little things with a rag soaked in the solution and placed on the workpiece, but the results are not even. So, you'd probably need to get a quart of the solution, disassemble the fixtures and soak the pieces in a small paint bucket a few at a time. Otherwise you're have to get five gallons of the stuff which would cost you about $700.

Good luck.
I notice below it says "It is suggested for solid brass items that are unlacquered..." - how can I tell if my pieces are unlacquered?
C O on Nov 10, 2019
BEST ANSWER: You can’t always tell except by seeing if the darkening solution works, but unless the lacquer is very thick, in which case you can tell there is a clear layer over the brass, the lacquer is generally easy to remove with steel wool. The darkening process is pretty forgiving, so if some spots don’t darken, you can start over with the steel wool concentrating on the bright spots, then use the solution again. The last scrub before darkening should be with 000 wool to get a nice looking finish
The brass I need to darken is inlayed into wood. Will it damage the wood?
alex c on Sep 7, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Possibly. I’d use a fine brush and ‘stay between the lines’
Lime away was sprayed on my copper bathroom sinks, I believe they are coated or have a clear lacquer ..will this product work?
Joanne G on Feb 1, 2019
BEST ANSWER: The darkening solution has to come in to direct contact with the metal (copper) surface to have any effect. If your sinks were coated/sealed to prevent the copper from developing a patina or to preserve a patina already in place then no, the darkening solution will have no effect on your sink.
Steve
I have a copper sink that was darkened to look like oil rubbed bronze. It needs to be refinished and wondering if this product would work?
Jennifer M on Jun 28, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I have had good luck using this product on brass and steel, but have not tried it on copper. It will only work on unfinished metal, so you would have to strip any finish off of the sink before applying the darkening solution. I would try it on a section of the sink that wouldn’t show, if you want to give it a try.
Would it be best to use a plastic tub for soaking brass items or what? Caustic for soaking in a tub? My piece is an 8” x 40”long brass kick plate. How long will it need to soak? Thx
Loraine R on Apr 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Hi Loraine/ I bought a skeleton key lock for an antique hutch I was bringing back to life. The lock was bright brass and it didn't match the existing hardware. It has been a couple of years since I used the solution but I am sure I just pulled a plastic bottle out of the recycle bin to use. Concerning the time, I kept checking on it until it was the shade I wanted. If I remember correctly it didn't take long, Just a few minutes. I did lightly sand the surface first, with very fine sandpaper, to knock down the protective coating applied to the lock. I hope this helps. Bill
I have a brass foot rest on my bar I want to change from brass to a dark or near black look. Will this product work?
6053661991 on May 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it should, if the foot rest is real brass. If it has a coating or sealer that would have to be removed first. Brass darkening solution also works on steel and nickel plated steel. It gives a nice dark color. I use it all the time in my work in a museum to give fasteners and metal parts a nice dark natural look.
We purchased a solid brass oil rubbed bronze lockset that has way too much red tones in it. Will this solution work to dark the lockset? Do I need to do a finish coat of something else? Thanks in advance.
wrong c on Jan 30, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I used this product to darken a brass sink where the factory patina had been scrubbed through. I found you can adjust the hue by multiple applications and controlling the exposure time. After some trial and error I was able to make a decent match. Heavy and long exposure of the product will turn the brass very dark, almost black.
Can this be used successfully to darken solid brass door hardware in the areas where the oil rubbed bronze finish has worn off? If so what method should I use to apply it so it will blend in?
Karen J on Jan 1, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I purchased this solution with the intention of simply rubbing a moistened cloth of the darkening solution on flat copper sheets to quickly age the appearance of an outdoor custom dormer. The method I used was ineffective. I found that in order to color the copper to a darker hew, I needed to soak the copper in the solution, which was impractical for my project.
I have a large copper kitchen sink that had a dark brown patina. My housekeeper used a commercial stainless steel cleaner on the sink, which eliminated all of the patina on the sink and left a bright copper metal finish. Can your product return the original patina to such a large area?
Patrick P on Nov 23, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It's hard to get an even finish by brushing it on, but you will def. be able to darken it. I would brush it on and as it pools in the bottom of the plugged sink, continually dip the brush and keep coating the sides. Then, once it darkens wipe it out and even out the color with super fine steel wool. Then repeat the brushing until it's dark enough after wiping.

Also, in my experience the patina achieved with this is not as stable as a natural one and it will probably lighten whenever it's rubbed clean. This might give you a good start on a good natural patina though.
Can this be used on chrome?
Michele M on Sep 13, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I don’t know. We used it on brass and it worked but we went in a different direction.
Is there a way to know if the brass is lacquered before you buy it? Could ask seller but not sure they really know.
music lover on Aug 11, 2019
BEST ANSWER: If the brass is nice and shiny and has been so for a good time, it’s got something coating it, probably lacquer. Lacquer is easily removed by lacquer thinner.
Does this work on hammered copper sinks too ?
Andrea H on Mar 24, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Hi, yes it does,,,
Can I use this on brass buttons?
May H on Aug 26, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I tried it on a brass miniature bed I wanted to age. It didn't work, because there was a sealer on the brass that I did not know how to remove. I'm guessing it will work on the buttons if you can soak them in something that will take any sealer off. I even tried lacquer thinner and it didn't work. Good luck!
Will this work on a brass exterior door kick plate? Want a darker oil rubbed finish to match new door hardware.
Loraine R on Apr 14, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I don't know. It was not clear when I bought it, that the item to be darkened had to be covered with the liquid, which made the small bottle useless to me.
Once you have darkened brass do you need a finishing product?
Monique P on Apr 8, 2018
BEST ANSWER: In my situation, I did not use the sealer because I don’t mind the copper becoming darker. Sorry that I cannot help you very well. Enter an answer to this question.
Will this product work on oil rubbed bronze drawer pulls? The bronze is starting to come thru.
Sheila C on Feb 12, 2018
BEST ANSWER: i would clean it with lacquer thinner first then try it. if it is coated with a clear finish it will not work. it would have to have the finish stripped off.