How to tell if something is brass
I can cross something off my blog list! I received my first rude comment and here it is: “In my opinion, you took a few thousand dollars worth of quality brass lamps and turned them into cheap-looking junk.”
So my friends, this obviously leads to the question of how you can tell if something is solid brass or not.
If you are wondering which post this comment belongs to, it was left on my painting brass plated lamps post.
How to tell if something is brass
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First off I need to say that my feelings were not hurt and I’m not angry either. But I do feel like I have to reply to it, not only in the reply box under his comment but officially with this post. A major reason for giving my reply an entire blog post is to clarify the solid brass versus brass-plated debate. So here it goes…
Dear Thom, I don’t know how you can tell in my photos that these are quality brass lamps.
Let me demonstrate something to you with this photo:
Do you see all the items stuck to the lamps? Well, they are my children’s magnets! What does that mean?
Magnets do not stick to “quality” solid brass since brass isn’t magnetic. This shows you that these lamps are brass plated which usually means that there is steel or cast iron underneath the brass plating.
If the magnets don’t stick chances are it is solid brass. In some cases, it could be white metal with a brass plating though too and you can only tell by scratching the gold surface to see if there is silver underneath or shiny gold. If the scratch reveals shiny gold then it is indeed solid brass.
So let me tell you, I didn’t ruin thousands of dollars worth of quality brass but I chose to paint brass plated steel or cast iron.
Another example is the below photo of my brass-plated shelf that I painted. The magnets stick as well:
I actually recently painted that shelving unit white. You can see the transformation HERE.
Now see my little owl in the next photo?
The magnets do not stick!!! It’s solid brass and guess what? I didn’t paint it, because if you would have been following my blog, then you would actually know that I have developed quite the love for “quality” brass and embraced it in my home. I would definitely not want to paint it.
Another one of my favorite quality brass pieces that I scored on Craigslist is the below skull hanging over our king-sized bed. (see more of our bedroom HERE)
Below is one of my favorite Goodwill finds ever which is a large brass-plated planter. There are lots of beautiful brass-plated pieces as well, I’m not saying everything brass-plated is junk and should be painted.
One more thing, even if I would have painted “quality” brass, there is such a thing as paint strippers, which would restore the former beauty of a painted brass piece. Painting it doesn’t mean it’s ruined or turned into junk.
I’d certainly be willing to strike a deal with you and strip the lamps again, so I could sell you the “quality” brass pieces for thousands of dollars.
you are awesome- love your demonstrations! but also don’t let losers like thom who have nothing better to do than say something mean to someone they don’t even know get you down.
Thanks Cassie, but he actually didn’t accomplish to get me down. It was a lot of fun writing this post 😉
Ha Ha!! Your reply was perfect well written! I think your new lamps are fun and look great! I have a very old, beautiful large secretary desk that I would love to paint a fun color. I bought it at an auction so there is no family connection in my heart. I feel horrible if I paint that valuable piece though. If I were to strip it down in a few years, it would lose value and beauty. I am thinking about selling it and taking the money and buying a lesser valued piece that I wouldn’t feel bad about painting!
What to do, what to do!!?? :/
Thanks for sharing that comment!
Thanks Darlene. I know exactly what you are talking about. I have a dresser too that I know is a real antique and I can’t get myself to paint it.
You go girl! Some people believe in spreading negativity, but I’m proud of you for staying positive. I love your lamps!!
Thanks Tiffany, it was actually a lot of fun writing this post.
Julia 10; Thom 0
LOL, thanks Heather!
I love it!!
It goes the same for wood furniture. Some people think we are NUTS for painting “quality” wood. If I don’t like it, why should I live with it?
You are right 😉
The response seems out of proportion to the comment, really. The lamps are adorable, but obviously not Thom’s style. He should be the troll you ignore, not the one you feed.
I don’t think it’s out of proportion at all
Your reply was informative and positive. I hope Thom and others who read your reply learned something!
Julia! So glad that you see the positive in all of this! love your witty reply! I often feel sorry for people that feel the need to leave negative comments like that, because it really means that they are very unhappy and probably don’t like themselves a whole lot. I always tell my students that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!! I love ALL of your work and think your taste is impeccable!
I say who cares if its real or fake brass! If you like it spray painted, then spray paint it! 😀 I personally love the lamps! The whole point of decorating is for us to use our style not everyone else’s. I love your style! You have great ideas. 🙂
I know, it shouldn’t really matter at all if it’s fake or real, right? But I felt like I had to say this because I really have come to love the real brass.
I don’t think you should consider this kind of comment, but your answer is great and make me laugh! Your blog is wonderful, full of great ideas!
Glad I could make you laugh and thanks 🙂
Great reply! Although, I don’t think you should even feel the need to justify yourself to someone like that. There are always going to be negative people who would rather dis on someone else than work on themselves.
Also, I’m so glad to know I’m in good company as part of the paint-your-crappy-not-quality-brass-lamps club! 🙂 Here is a link to my lamp painting project. http://sturdydesign.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/a-light-makeover-for-two/
Thanks and I’ll go check it out!
your reply is great Julia! i don’t understand why he/she is too brave to leave a mean comment BUT too scared to show his/her face….
who cares if it’s fake or not! it’s your home, you make it pretty however you want it!!
Hats off to you girl for your enjoyable & interesting comment!
You tell him! Haha
I thought it was funny too. Thanks Crystal!
Yikes! This response seems a bit over the top to me! The comment didn’t seem that nasty to me, but your reply certainly did.
Why? I don’t think my reply was nasty at all. I thought it was funny! I asked several people what they thought before posting and they thought the same.
I do think though that it is nasty when somebody tells you your project is worthless junk and I should be allowed to reply to a comment like that.
This was going to be my response to Cassie @ Primitive & Proper’s positively enthusiastic comment regarding her opinion to your response to Thom. But, I feel it is more fitting to reply in this post:
1) Julia is awesome – AGREED
2) I love her demonstrations, as well – AGREED
3) Don’t listen to losers – AGREED
4) Thom is nasty and has better to do – AGREED; furthermore, you will never be able to please everyone.
But, the point is he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. Only now he is more informed than ever about brass.
5) Julia is a professional in every aspect of her career.
Kudos to another ‘job’ well done,
Well first, I applaud you. I always say you haven’t “made it” as a blogger until you get your first negative comment. 🙂 Even if it WAS quality brass, it’s YOUR lamp and you get to decide what to do with it. I love the painted look!
Word!! And thanks Kelly.
I’ve never understood why people feel the need to leave mean comments, it’s your blog you decide what you like and want to share. I guess his mama never told him “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” Keep up the good work, love your projects! 🙂
Thank you for the kind words 🙂
Ha ha ha!;)
Das war eine verdammt gute und schlagfertige Antwort!
Ich mag deine Lampen!
Ach und Glückwunsch zum ersten bösen Kommentar!
You know, haters gonna hate…:))
Vielen Dank für die Glückwünsche!
Ignore him now Julia…. to further give substance to such is just not worth your creative time.
Ok, I will next time 😉 ….maybe 😉
Ah, glad you did. It was fun to read. I know we all say ignore the trolls, but then they get to fill the space with their spew. So sad. 2 more ideas for old Thom:Buddhist monks spend days making complex mandalas out of coloured sand, only to wipe them away at the end. This is a practice to remind them that attachment to objects and things we “own” can cause a lot of suffering. Obviously, Thom is attached to brass things and suffered when he saw this. Then he spread the suffering. Second. What’s an object worth? What people are willing to pay. Styles change, and with them the market value. Van Gogh’s new style of painting was worthless in his lifetime; considered junk by others. Not now. At one point tulip bulbs were worth more than gold. Though obviously there is a difference between quality materials, and solid brass is a nice quality material, the style has changed and people are turning towards more fun coloured, irreverent decorating. Ah, well. Thom will never read this. And even if he did, if he’s a die hard traditionalist, he’ll will resist appreciating the beauty in new trends. And if he’s a true troll, he doesn’t even care, might not even believe what he wrote. He just wants to spread some suffering. In the meantime, I think – love the great hot colours!
Well said! So true 😉
if its yours, u own it, and are free to do whatever u wish..mean spirited people should just live and let live!
Rude comments are SO lame!! I was just looking at your lamp project before I saw this post and was literally thinking how much I LOVED the fun colors! You go girl:) Keep up the awesome projects:):)
Thanks Amy and it is totally lame to be rude!
Today, I had my first negative comment as well. Unlike you, I was very hurt by the comment. I worked very hard on the room that they proclaimed was hideous. I just don’t see why people have to be so mean. If I don’t like something that someone has done in their home, I would never tell them that. To each his own. My style is unique and not everyone will like it. I just didn’t think people would attack me for it. Your post made me feel slightly better though. Thanks for that.
Hi Lauren, I’m so sorry to hear that. Don’t let it get you down. I think people should look for the positive and not focus on stuff they don’t like, right? All that matters is that you continue to stick with who you are and what you like. Good luck and keep your head up!
I like to envision mean commenters sitting in their basements with mangy cats. That’s just me.
THAT is an awesome response. I hope Thom read it!
(I think I’ll put a magnet in my purse for my Goodwill trips.)
You encourage people to share their thoughts (“Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, I love to hear your feedback”), but I guess you only mean that when their comments are what you want to hear.
Angie in Tennessee
yes, I do encourage people to leave their thoughts but I don’t encourage them to be rude. The internet makes people brave enough to say things that they would never say to someones face. I would never go to someones home and say you turned this into cheap looking junk. There is always a better and nicer way of expressing your opinion.
He could have said something like “Are you sure you didn’t paint valuable brass?” or “I think I would have rather kept it in brass.”
But if he phrases it the way he did then I’m allowed to respond to it.
Too much time and energy spent on Thom’s comment. Yea, a bit rude, but you’re correct people tend to spill their guts when behind the scenes. Give Thom a break and let him absorb the truth in what’s brass and what’s not. Also, the ability to think outside the box and add a little color to what would be expected if the piece were solid brass. I’m a colorful person and take every opportunity to paint something unless of coarse it’s solid brass or a very rich piece of wood. Paint on and/or polish or not.