Little by Little


Have you ever had an item you bought years ago and stuck it back somewhere for it to get lost in the pile so you don’t have to look at it? (somebody please say YES! So I know I’m not the only one out here-lol)… Well that’s how I was with this Victorian antique brass coat rack.  As we were pulling things out for the yard sale, I re-discovered this buried treasure – and decided.. well.. I mind as well start with this draining, grueling, tedious project – this year – stop procrastinating – roll up the sleeves and get ready for HARDWORK !!  ( I hope you enjoy the snazzy upbeat tune – music always seem to make it a bit easier)


Since the hubs can’t seem to make it inside the closet (he comes home like Ralph Kramden after a long days – oh brother)… and the convenient door knob becomes the hang all.  So I figure hmmmm.. a coat rack.. it can’t get simpler, after all it’s got knobs…

Uggghhhhh… why must I cause myself agony over an item.  Sure I could have just washed it  and given it a quick coat of metallic gold paint, but why.. when the real natural brass could be shined and brought back to it’s natural beauty… Right???  Besides when I saw how much they’re going for (click here) – I wouldn’t dare devalue it with paint.


Do you see what I see???? (as in the Christmas Carol song..chuckles)…Ok.. As you see dull and rusted this has gotten over the years.  Again — WWHHHHHHHYYYYYEEEE!!!  am I doing this to myself?????  Because it’s a beautiful piece.. that’s why… (insert finger pointing gun to the head)


Yea, it appears to be about a 1,000 years of rust …Insert deep breath and sigh.. but then I met a new friend, BarkeepersFriend- open up heavenly gates…


Say hello to my little friend!  Hug, hug, nice to meet you!

I wet an old rag, dabbed some powder on it and began to wipe.  I couldn’t believe my eyes… WOWWWW!!!


Scrub, scrub. scrub..


Little by little – I was beginning to see the light


I can’t emphasize enough how hard this was.. but as I was beginning to see the beauty coming through – I was getting more excited.  I persevered many nights taking my time. My goal was to have it finished before the official coat/hat doorknob hanging season – aka Fall.

To clean it, had to keep dampening cloth and adding the powder substance (it would have a pastey feeling).  After cleaning each section, have another cloth to buff it for a shine.  This step is crucial, because it helps bring the shine through.  For this project I had to continue this process over and over and over and over..etc..on & on & on & on…etc…

Oh- and please.. wear rubber or latex gloves while using this product. When I first started I didn’t wear them and it took several washes for me to get that funny feeling off my hands..(in fact I had to use a scrub) – so please don’t forget to use them

Until low & behold.. as Bruce Willis says in “Death Becomes Her”


Isn’t she a shining glory!!


Halllllejuah!  Her curvy legs are gleaming with joy


Girl is shining brightly


This is why I love antiques.. because you just don’t find stuff like this at any given store.


I kept this little section dark to maintain a bit of an aged look.. (besides to remind me to never let it get that way again)


Standing tall and and looking brassilicious (my new made-up word)


So come on Fall it’ll be no more coat/hat doorknob hanging season again at the Wallaces –  (it better not be..insert angry face)


And until next time -as always-  Happy Hunting while you thrift your house into a home!




28 thoughts on “Little by Little

  1. Love the coat rack, the bar keepers friend is the best for restoring brass. I’m still a brass lover myself . All of your pieces are so nice.

  2. I have a 3 1/2′ brass candle stick. I will have to try this Barkeepers Friend. Some one told me to spray a clear something over it to keep the shine. Is that true?

  3. wow , i have never tried Bar Keepers but i sure do want to after seeing what a wonderful job it done , looks awesome thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. That would be a hard project to start but isn’t it stunning now? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one so beautiful. The curves, the knobs…it is gorgeous. You have a treasure. I bet your husband is happy, too. I don’t know why people quit using coat racks, they are so convenient. I have a wooden one in the basement that I can’t decide how to fix. It isn’t beautiful like yours, but it comes apart, the center pieces separate and there was a bar that fit into the two pieces that made a long coat rack.

  5. So Beautiful!Thanks for sharing as I have some old brass collectibles that I now know what will make them beautiful again

  6. First of all, was that a birdcage I saw holding toilet paper and towels? Who would have thought. Ok, Jamala, I’m officially obsessed with your work. Dang you’re good!

  7. LOL and then some more! Awesome job here! Now I recommend a relaxing manicure and plenty of Ben-gay for Arthur who I’m sure has made a visit to your aching fingers. You missed your calling…Lucy! I love Lucy!!!

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