Sunday, May 18, 2014

Thrift Store Silver Plate & How I Clean It A Bit...

I was recently asked if I was in the "tarnish camp" or the "shiny camp."

Tarnish - all the way, baby. 

My reasons go deeper than the elbow grease required to keep things pristine, too. 

I LIKE the look of tarnish - it shows details you don't see on a totally shiny piece. It shows history.

Sometimes the places I shop don't bother to clean items. They can be very grungy. 

The tray below had some rusty looking stuff, white stuff, and even some green patina. I like green patina, but not for this piece.

I can buy undaunted because... I have the simplest, quickest trick to clean up a grimy piece while still satisfying my need for patina. 

Here it is:

Soapy steel wool pads - SOS or Brillo, usually.

I wet them, and scrub the grime off, revealing a bit of silver (and sometimes the copper underneath the plate), but leaving plenty of tarnish in grooves.

After a good scrub, I rinse well and dry with a towel until the piece is completely dry.

Here is a before:

The plate above is the same one pictured in the first photo. It had water rings, the price in wax pencil (I paid half-price) and general grunge. 

Here it is again, after a few minutes of steel wool and soap:

There is even an engraving. :)

Phi Kappa Theta
Christmas Party

There is copper coming through the silver, but I don't mind. 

These days, I embrace the imperfect. No drama if something gets scratched that is already scratched. Party on and use the silver! Use the pretty towels, too.

Word for the Day:
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Possibly Linking With:
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Sundays at Home
Mod Mix Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Vintage Inspiration Tuesday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
Blissfully White Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday
Cottage Style Party
Drop it or Swap it Party
Under $100 Link Party
Creative Inspirations
Share Your Cup Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Furniture Feature Friday
Frugal Friday
Party Junk
Show and Tell Saturday


chateau chic said...

Some silver pieces look so good with their tarnished patina!
Thanks for the visit, Revi.
Mary Alice

Audrey said...

Very pretty trays Revi and I like them a little tarnished too. Love the deep one. Mr. Z. used to clean our silver every Christmas, but years since he has done that and I'm sure everything is well tarnished now. Need to get it out and display it or use it. I like it polished if using it for food.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Woodside Park said...

Such a great look - thanks for sharing your secret! I too love my silverware not pristine. A bit of tarnish adds such depth and warmth. Have a wonderful week, Revi!

Redeemed Junk and Stuff said...

I prefer the tarnish too. I think its the Velveteen Rabbit quality I adore in things and people.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh I love silver, however I am in the shiny camp most of the time. Did you know that BarKeepers Friend does a fabulous job too and doesn't scratch at all. Love your trays.

Tania Pelletier said...

I love this look too and I'm glad to know how to achieve it now, thanks so much! I'm pinning and sharing on FB too :o)


farmhouse-story said...

i'm a tarnished girl at heart and i love the before and after looks, revi!

Sarah said...

I'm a silver fan, but more in the shiny camp. I don't over polish older pieces though. I like the tarnish in some of the details. ;-)

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

I am a tarnish lover. Must admit, I loved both the before and after! Thanks for sharing with SYC.