How to Fix Damage to Oil Rubbed Bronze

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloths

  • Furniture wax

  • Cotton ball

  • Mineral oil


Avoid attempting to refinish the oil-rubbed pieces if they looked discolored or faded. This is a natural process called oxidation and lends to the one-of-a-kind look of the piece.

"Oil rubbed" is a chemical finished applied to several metals, including bronze, to simulate an aged appearance. No two oil-rubbed pieces are the same and the coloring changes over time with use and exposure to moisture and the skin's oils. The finish partially protects the soft metal from damage, but isn't completely impenetrable to scratches. It is possible to remove superficial scratches from your damaged oil-rubbed switch plates, faucets and door handles without professional intervention or costly materials.


Step 1

Wipe the oil-rubbed fixture with a soft cloth to remove any loose dirt and dust. Avoid using abrasive products or cleaners, as these will cause further scratches to the delicate surface and ruin the finish.

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Step 2

Apply furniture wax to the corner of a soft cloth. Work the furniture wax into the scratches using overlapping circles. Continue rubbing the wax into the scratches until they're no longer visible.


Step 3

Allow the wax to settle for two to three minutes before wiping away the excess with a clean cloth. Buff away the extra wax or it will leave a film on the fixture.

Step 4

Dampen a cotton ball with mineral oil and swipe it over the piece to restore its shine.