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Hale Navy Perfection and the BEST Hardware Tip Yet!

Did it take your breath away? So, I Apologize in advance for the lack of quality pictures. Back when I completed this piece, I didnt have intentions of blogging about it. There were no sponsors,. and I just felt like it was a basic refinish.
But then the magic happened!
My client found the perfect piece for her Husbands Den,..

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I know! Sorry for the quality,.. I had to pull most pics from Instagram/FacebookDo you follow me there? 😉 Just LOOK at the hardware?! This is LOVELY Vintage Bassett Dresser and it is SOLID.
First things first, removing and cleaning the hardware..
What you cookin mom?? ?A post shared by That Sweet Tea Life (@thatsweettealife) on

What is that concoction? Tomato Paste. For old brass hardware its my go to method for cleaning it up! Years of grime and age!


Now back to it.

Arent they gorgeous!? To clean I simply dropped them in Tomato paste for about an hour,.. sometimes I leave over night. Then I come back and scrub them with a fine scrubby of steel wool. It can be done with less abrasive methods but,.. I dont like to dawdle. 🙂
On to the dresser. I chose to clean with TSP, then wipe down with a vinegar/water mix. While I LOVE using furniture for my creative canvas I also appreciate antiques and lovely vintage pieces. So before I move on I seal everything with 3 coats of clear shellac. This seals the wood and prevents the paint from penetrating the wood grain.
On to the finish. My chosen paint is Benjamin Moore Advance. Its my go to for White finishes as well as solid modern finishes. Its self leveling, so there is less need to sand for a smooth finish and it was created with Kitchen Cabinetry in mind,.. so its REALLY durable and wasnt intended to need a top coat!
Why is that? No top coat? Yes. This paint is Oil Based, yet Waterborne,.. this means its SUPER easy to work with! Treat it just like you would water-based products! BUT once the water evaporates, you are left with the oil based product. This means a solid, sealed, finish.
Amazing right?! I love it and have done MANY pieces with this product.
So, how to apply. For a sleek finish I love using my Homeright Finish Max.
And thats what I did!
3 Coats of Benjamin Moore Advance in satin
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Then 2 coats of my go to clear coat to give the matte appearance I wanted! Wise Owl Varnish is my favorite protective finish across the board. I can use it over any of the paint types I use and it comes in Matte and Satin
Finally I was able to replace the hardware and admire the gorgeous view..
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Absolute Timeless Beauty.

Ok so I hope you enjoyed that little throw back!
Remember-any questions? Drop them below or contact me! Im happy to help! Even better Join my Facebook Group where we ALL encourage each other and learn and grow in this DIY World.

Now until I see you over there,.. thanks for joining me at That Sweet Tea Life!!

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Monday 9th of November 2020

I'm assuming that it's the acid in the tomato paste and tomato sauce that is actually cleaning the hardware. Is there any reason why I can't buy a big jug of vinegar to get the same results? White vinegar is so much cheaper than purchasing tomato products.

Kenyatta Harris

Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

This is beautiful. Love that hardware. This is my first time reading about tomato sauce and hardware! Such an great tip!

Michelle Leslie

Thursday 7th of September 2017

Wait WHAAAAAAATTTTT???? Tomato paste. That's so awesome. I have to try it. Thanks for the tip Thea


Friday 28th of July 2017


Liz Wiesemann

Monday 24th of July 2017


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