Your Sunday Project – Bringing a Brass Door Knocker Back to Life

DSC_1055When we first drove down to the cape to look at the beach house with a realtor, one of the first things I noticed was the anchor on the front door.  I have seen anchor door knockers before but never this weathered and beat up.  It definitely had seen a few summers.  I wanted to see what would happen if we gave it a good cleaning.  Now I know what you are thinking – never get rid of an aged and real patina but this looked like dirt build up.  When we replaced the door, I got my hands on that anchor and brought it up home for some rehab.  The first thing I did was research how to clean brass, there were many suggestions, home solutions involving lemons and vinegar, scrubs and pastes, and of course heavy duty brass cleaners that would take the your finger tips off along with it.  I ended up using Bar Keepers Friend to make a paste and then Brasso to see if I could get any excess off and maybe a shine.  I think you could use one or the other.

FullSizeRender 3


Image-1 7


  1. Anchor pre-rehab…
  2. The back of the door knocker where it is not as dirty with some brass peeking through.
  3. A paste I made of 3/4 parts Bar Keepers Friend and 1/4 parts warm water.
  4. I heavily poured most of the mixture onto the knocker.
  5. I used my ungloved (use a glove…) hand to spread the mixture all over and into the cracks and crevices.
  6. The mixture needs to sit for about an hour on the brass.
  7. After I waited an hour (kinda) I began to rub off the paste with a soft damp cloth using more water as needed as the paste is dry.
  8. What it started to look like I as I took the paste off.
  9. The finished product which surprised me! It was not the golden brass I was expecting but more of a dull pinkish hue.  After a little research I am pretty sure that it is bronze not brass.

FullSizeRender 4I actually love, love the look of the anchor, it is such a beautiful color and smooth feel like I have never seen in a door knocker before.  Here is my only issue, I ordered brass hardware for the front door and I wouldn’t know where to find matching door hardware to this metal even if I tried.  I am definitely placing the anchor back on the door because it is a piece that belongs on the house having been there for possibly 60+ years.  I guess I will just have to hope it all works together and not be too picky about the details.

FullSizeRender 2
The hardware I bought for the front door.

If you are trying this project on a brass piece of your own I found the whole process really easy.  Waiting the hour in between was not easy for me as I wanted to keep the ball rolling but it was a necessary step.  Good Luck with your own project!