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Tips to rejuvenate old brass stair rods

Moving house and discovering a set of old brass stair rods in the loft is surprisingly common, judging by the calls we receive. If you like to revive preloved items for your home and give them a new lease of life, here are a few ideas which may help you turn a mound of metal into an attractive addition to your staircase.

old brass stair rods stacked up on floor
Make unlacquered old brass rods shiny with brass cleaner

Reclaim the shine

Traditionally, stair rods and antique stair clips are typically made of brass – either solid or a hollow brass tube. If they’ve been in the loft for many years, the natural ageing process of un-lacquered brass will have resulted in the finish changing to a rich, mellow tone, otherwise known as tarnished. Some people like this antique look.

Replace the rod holders

Depending on the design of your antique rods, it may well be that there was once a pile of matching brackets to hold the rods in place on the staircase − one either end.  If these are missing, it is possible to purchase new brackets, available in a number of different finishes, including antique bronze, antique brass and satin brass. Whilst you may find the diameter of your rod does not perfectly match the standard 12mm or 16mm diameter, spherical brackets available today, you can always pack them out with a little foam. If your rods have a triangular profile, then replacement grips are likewise available.

Shorten the length

This may not be that simple – it depends on the design of the carpet rods. Designs with integral finial ends as part of the rods are fixed in length. It is best to match your stair runner to the length of the rods, rather than the other way around. If the finials push in, then it may be possible to remove them, shorten the rods and then reinsert the finials.

Further advice about measuring up for stair rods can be found here.

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