How To

how to clean brass hardware Hello Friends, pardon my absence the last couple of weeks while we wrapped up school (which was way busier than I imagined - whoosh!) and dealt with our porte cochere ceiling collapsing on our car (more on that later), not to mention my continued recovery (I'm feeling much better by the way, and am very close to being released by my doctors!). This past Saturday, I finally sat down to tackle a task I had been needing to work on for quite some time - cleaning the hardware on the campaign built-in for our Master Bathroom. This is a "before" picture, and this vintage campaign piece turned bathroom built-in, purchased at Scout Design Studio in Dallas, has had a major face lift since the photo below was taken. [caption id="attachment_7807" align="aligncenter" width="306"]scout design studio scout design studio[/caption] As you can see, there is A LOT of hardware to be cleaned here.  Over 50 pieces...But I was undeterred at the beginning.  After all, this is not my first go-round at cleaning campaign hardware.  I've done it millions of times. I promptly pulled out my Brasso and started scrubbing.  At first, I did not remove the campaign hardware from the main piece, simply because those brass T's and L-shaped pieces are a beating to get off without bending them.  (I often recommend not removing campaign hardware for this very reason)  However, after scrubbing and scrubbing with Brasso, I quickly realized this was not going to be an easy job.  Therefore, all of the hardware was removed from the furniture piece very, very carefully.  Once I had all of the brass hardware on a flat surface, I switched to Bar Keepers Friend and started scrubbing. I was surprised, yet again, to see my cleaner was not denting this grime at all. So that's when I decided to pull out all the stops.  If you have beyond dirty brass hardware, these are the steps you need to take to ensure the quickest, most efficient way of bringing these brass beauties back to life.

how to shop estate sales Today is the second part of a two-post series on estate sales.  If you missed yesterday's post, How To Find Estate Sales, you should check it out.  It outlines my tried and true process for finding the best estate sales around. If you are a frequent estate sale shopper, you know it can be fairly cutthroat.  That's because you, as a laid back estate sale shopper, are competing with dealers, who are not so laid back about their estate sale finds.  This might be annoying, and you may have had an ugly experience a time or two, but I try to remember this is some people's livelihood - how they feed their families and pay their medical bills.  Then again, some people are mean and prickly, and sometimes you have to be the bigger person and try not to take it personally. With that said, here are a few estate sale rules, followed by tips and tricks you have probably never heard of or thought of before.  Follow these to be a successful estate sale shopper! If you have been reading for awhile, you know how much I love a good estate sale.  Pretty much every awesome find in my home has come from an estate sale.  I often hear people say "they wished they went to estate sales but don't know how to find the good ones", or "I don't know how to shop them, and then all the good stuff is gone".  I have been wanting to craft a two-part series on estate sales to address these issues for awhile now, and that is exactly what the next two days will be.  Today I am starting with "How To Find Estate Sales" and tomorrow will be "How To Shop Estate Sales".  There are definitely some tricks of the trade that you can only learn if you have been going to estate sales a long time, or you get lucky and someone tells you.  (Like you.) I have shopped estate sales as a dealer and a layperson, and I will let you in on exactly what I do and exactly what people like me do to find the best stuff.  There is an art, you might say, to being a successful estate sale shopper. I am publishing this post on a Wednesday because Wednesday is an awesome day to look for estate sales and plan out your trek for Friday.  Most estate sales start on Friday, but a few may start on a Thursday so Wednesday is a great day to look for sales.  You could look for example on a Monday, but sometimes people have not posted pictures or even decided to have a sale by Monday. Before I even start looking for estate sales, I get out a piece of paper and a pen.  You will want this so you can keep track of where you want to go and why.  Typically, I have a line for each estate sale with this information: Address Day it opens and what time Forms of Payment - If they only accept cash, this will usually be noted in the sale description, and I will make sure to bring cash with me.  I always take a credit card and checkbook with me when I estate sale, but I do not always carry cash. What I was interested in  This may sound overly specific, but sometimes estate sales run together when you are searching for them, and if you keep track of notable sales while you are looking, you will save time rather than having to go back later. Here is the precise order of places I go to look for estate sales.