Can I paint bathroom fixtures

kaitland8May 7, 2008

Hi everyone - Has anyone ever painted their bathroom fixtures? I (foolishly) purchased a chrome sink faucet and tub shower that has a little trim of brass/gold tone on it. Of course, this is causing me a lot of decorating headaches. For the faucet it's just the tiny button that closes the drain, but the shower has a full ring around the plate and the shower head too. They were very expensive.....more regret. Is there anyway I can either paint the whole thing (either all chrome, or maybe oil rubbed bronze) or even just the trim area? A friend recently purchased a new home and the baths have chrome fixtures with ORB light fixtures over dark wood mirros and it's a lovely combo. So, maybe I could change the shower and then paint the little gold button on the faucet on ORB finish? Thanks!

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I have painted many things :) But I wouldn't paint those. They see too much use and I don't think the paint would hold up well. In addition, trying to mask off the non painted parts would be a nightmare!

I'm not sure why you find this a decorating headache though. Have you considered that it's actually a decorating bonus? I have a range (Lacanche) which has knobs with both chrome and brass on them. I absolutely love that this gives me the freedom to use both finishes in the kitchen. I've pulled the same two finishes into the lighting. It's really quite a nice thing.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:01PM
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Thanks igloochic. That's what I was afraid of. Initially I thought I was going to do the chrome and brass, but now I want to use a darker finish on the mirror and sconces (ORB) - which would give me 3 finishes in there. And, oh I envy you the Lacanche!!! I've seen pix of the one you have and it's just too fab for words - lucky you!

So - anyone else have a similar experience? Or has anyone heard of the "metal darkening" additive/liquid?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 9:27PM
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OK if you're bound and determined :oP Here's what "I" would do if I felt I had to paint them.

First, go down to either a reuse shop or home despot and purchase a very very very cheap faucet set from their discount bin in a very shiny silver finish (you're testing finish not color so don't worry about that).

Now head to an automotive paint store, not a regular paint store, but someone who sells automotive quality spray paint. Talk to them about a primer in a spray option and purchase one or two options to try.

Practice wonderful tape off abilities around difficult curves and see how well you can do it, mimicking what you have to do on your own set. Spray with the primer...and let me warn you...spray several times in very thin coats, letting each coat set up fully before you apply more. You DON'T want drips on metal!!! You'd have to sand and start again, which sucks (don't ask why I know that).

Now you need to head to Michaels (ok you could do that on the way from your other purchase) and pick out a couple different metal paints in a bronze/antique bronze or ORB finish. The daub on finishes won't work...they're not tough enough for the use you are contemplating. Test until you find one that's a good compliment for your other pieces (remembering that they're not right up against each other!) and spray on your primer. Let it sit for whatever suggested...probably at least 48 hours and then apply a finish coat in a very shiny finish, again a metal appropriate finish please. Test the finish coat (clear) on your paint and primer coats on a piece of plastic so you can see if they're compatible...some are not.

WHen you have a finished sample product with all coats on them...let that sit a few days....

Now dip it in water. Scratch it with your fingernails, rub a scrub brush over it....

How's it turning out????? This will tell you if you should try the same technique on your high cost items.

I actually did this for our step up into the bathtub. No steps (fold up) come with a ORB finish so I had to paint the finish (gold) to a bronze color. Mine won't see much touching though, which made it easier, and won't get dirty enough to need much more than a wipe. How did they turn out...they actually look quite nice.

I'll be at the house this weekend working. Just to save you a step...I'll see what I used for the bronze color that worked best with the ORB in the room and post that brand for you to try.

That metal darkening liquid is too hard to control and you'll ruin your other finishes on the pieces...dont' touch it!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Oh lordy igloochick, FOFL!!!!!!! wow, what a desperate preson won't try. actually i am going to try it on the sink faucet, because it's only that tiny little piece on top of the plunger that closes the drain. I might just have to go ahead and force myself to buy a new shower head - or keep the shower curtain closed for a while! Thank you for the step-by-step. I'll let you know the outcome! Kait

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 10:17PM
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What if you want to do the entire fixture in the oil rubbed bronze? does the metal darkening liquid work well and how hard is it to do? Has anyone used it before? I am thinking of taking my fixtures off and do them then put back on? Thanks for any input....Jill

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 7:40PM
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