Okay girlies. You asked for it, and here it is! I have what I think is the best solution to the whole "I hate shiny brass" conundrum. First of all, thank you for all your suggestions. I was leaning towards painting the brass bed, just to be done with it, but so many of you said "Don't paint! You never know when brass will be back!" and I think you are right. It forced me to be a little sleuth and I am so glad I put the time into it. Wait till you hear about my discovery!
It's called Brass Ager. I talked to someone at a cabinet hardware shop near where I used to live in Cincinnati and he told me about this miracle solution. He said it will age and darken brass; the more you use the darker it will become. But the best part? If, later on, you want to revert back to the original shiny-ness, it can be restored. I guess you just shine it back up the way you normally would with brass. Isn't that fantastic?
The only catch is that a lot of brass has a lacquer on it to make it shiny. It's hard to tell until you get into the project if your piece has lacquer or not. If it does, before you use Brass Ager, you have to use straight Acetone (easily found at Lowes or similar) to break down the lacquer.
Here's a picture of my lovely new friend, Brass Ager.
I have scoured Denver for a shop that will sell this, to no avail. I am guessing it would be just as hard for you to find it in your town. Luckily, I found a place online that sells it. Here is the link. I know when I googled Brass Ager there were other shops out there, so this is by no means the only place to look.
I should also mention, though, that if you have something brass that you want to paint instead of just darken, check my comments section on the original post for lots of good ideas and advice. Screaming Meme in particular had some good pointers in my comments for painting brass.
In the meantime, I will be sitting on my front porch waiting for my little box o' Brass Ager to arrive. I will definitely keep you posted when I've tried it. Thanks again for all your ideas and suggestions!