If you want a new fresh paint job with no distressing or possibly a powdercoated finish…..then polishing the brass to blend with the rest of your bed look, is the best route.
But if you’re doing an old antique faux’ finish on your bed, keep the brass old and appropriate looking for the finish you’ve selected.
Brass can be refinished in a number of different ways, just depending on the finish and look you want your bed to have. The brass can be painted like the rest of the bed, if you don’t particularly like brass. It can also be polished and not lacquered …… leaving it to turn and age naturally.
Most of the distress finishes we do on our beds have accent pieces of brass. We always suggest the new owner lets us do an acid bath to age the brass to an appropriate look for the finish that we’re doing. Many of the iron beds we get in have brass that might only need a superficial buffing to still look old, yet appropriate.
The most important thing when refinishing your bed, if it has brass, is to make sure the age of the finish blends with the age of the brass and visa versa.