Shiney dated?

phoggieJanuary 9, 2010

When we built our house in 2001, I happened to love shiney me, it looked so good with our house (still do)....BUT, we are getting ready to sell it and I am wondering how much of it I need to replace?

I did replace the faucet, cabinet pulls, and light in the kitchen to a rubbed bonze....but where do I stop?

Things that are brass: DR light fixture, Entry light fixture, all light switches/plug covers (change to what, white?),fireplace surround, door latches and hinges, front door knob, all bathroom faucets, shower doors, bathroom light fixtures, whirlpool faucets/drains, towel bars/toilet tissue holder, etc, and on and on. DH doesn't think it matters and it would cost quite a sum, but I am not so sure.....although we are in the mid-west and a rural area, but our house is in the $300,000+ range and not many of those in this price range in this rural town and not many buyers who can afford them either.

I did get rubbed bronze lights for the front door and ends of the garage...spray painted the ones on the decks, etc...surprised they looked very good. Someone suggested spraying the brass things, but I am not sure bathroom fixtues would look or hold up with spray paint...don't want it to peel off.

I appreciate your suggestions....and thanks in advance.

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i personally can deal with door knobs but not lights or faucets.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 6:38PM
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Good solid brass never went out of style, cheap shiny looks-like-brass should be replaced as possible. If it were my house, I would:

Spray paint the DR light fixture and entry light fixture; Spray paint the light switch plates and plug covers to white or cream or whatever blends best with the walls.
Spray paint the fireplace surround in flat black high heat paint, unless it is solid brass, in which case, leave it alone.
Leave as is: door latches and hinges, front door knob, all bathroom faucets, shower doors, bathroom light fixtures, whirlpool faucets/drains, towel bars/toilet tissue holder.

In other words, anything that will be handled regularly, or that should match something handled regularly, leave it alone.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 7:44PM
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I would definately change the DR light, entry, the switch plates (white if your molding is white), anything brass on your front door to start.l If $ is not an issue, than I would hit the bathrooms next than the door knobs. There is special paint for the fireplace that will cover the mantel's brass. You could even paint the exterior and your DR light yourselves and get pretty good results for hardly any $.

This summer, my exterior lights were loosing their finish and I spray painted them a iron metal finish and all my neighbors asked we bought new ones! It was cheap and easy.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I spray painted a shower head and shower drain plate and it worked perfectly. My drain plate is in the master shower and gets soaked twice each morning and hasn't peeled or chipped in 8 months. We changed the faucet in the shower but couldn't get the shower-head off without damaging the tile. The shower plate was an old brass plate and we couldn't find a stainless to fit so we painted that. I did replace all sink faucets with stainless and bought new light plates.

I have 4 bathrooms and replaced all brass faucets and light fixtures. Took off brass shower doors and hung shower curtains. Changed the kitchen faucet to stainless but left all door knobs brass except the front door. Too many doors to change.

I did not buy expensive faucets. Shopped Home Depot and Lowes. Bought light plates on-line in bulk and replace each light plate to white. Bathroom light fixtures and two medicine cabinets were bought in Lowes. Replaced the other bathroom mirrors which I bought at Home Goods. I resurfaced a large old green bathtub making it white. Looked great. I did replace all the towel racks with stainless (Home Depot).

You can do a lot of things without going broke. If you are handy, replace the faucets yourself. Watch sales at Lowes, you can get some good buys.
The spray paint works great. The stuff is amazing, holds up well and looks so real.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 1:32AM
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Let the buyer replace decor items.

You have no idea if they would have preferred brass over any other finish, so why waste money?

Real solid brass is still an upscale product.

Take a magnet and see it it sticks.
The magnet sticking would indicate brass plated steel, a cheap substitute for the real thing.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 9:43AM
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Agree with most of the others -- Spray paint of replace the 'cheap brass' stuff; keep the good brass stuff. If your wall plates are good brass, simply unscrew them and replace them with brand new inexpensive white ones from a home improvement store.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:02AM
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You're a design vanguard - seeing lots of polished brass in home decor magazines now. Maybe you should leave some decorating magazines open to those pages (just kidding). As others mentioned, brass is a quality material, and as such, never really out of style (just out of fashion). I'd leave it all.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 12:50PM
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"... simply unscrew them and replace them with brand new inexpensive white ones from a home improvement store."

That would NOT be an attractive upgrade, especially if the house is higher end.

Brass plates are not that expensive if purchased in bulk from a place like Renovator's Supply.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Is there a spray that I can use to change the shiney brass to a more antique brass finish?

About the time I change everything to brushed bronze, that will be out of style too. Our brass is good quality brass and solid brass fixtues in the bathrooms. I might change the light switches to white (although our wood cabinets and trim is all cherry with a pecan stain and not white)....would that matter? THANKS for all of your comments....and keep them coming....I am in a quandry as to what to, especially since I still like the brass....but I know from reading these forums that it makes my house "dated"...and I need to get as much for it as I can.

Jane, if you took out your shower doors, wasn't there holes left?....what did you do about those if you are just using a shower curtain?

To those who sprayed their fixtures?.....what color and brand did you use? Chrome, ORB, etc.?

If I spray the fireplace trim, I am thinking it would look just like a big black box...anyone done this?

You are all so helpful........and while I am asking....I have a bedroom painted a "mulberry", which matches the small embroderied flowers on cream in the spread/curtains that really were quite costly and only used 2-3 I paint that room? I have asked 2 local realtors and they said to leave it alone...but I am afraid it is not neutral enough for buyers. I would stipulate that if that was a factor in their buying the house, I would paint it in a color of their choice. What would you do? THANK YOU.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 2:41PM
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Easiest thing is to post some pics. It's much easier when you see something to say if it needs to be replaced or repainted than it is to make general statements.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 6:18PM
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If it is real brass, leave it as is.

I painted cheap shiny fake brass with Rustoleum hammered brown.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rustoleum brown hammered

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 7:16PM
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Don't replace any of it. I wouldn't bother to spray paint it either. Are you going to replace everything else based on what happens to be "in" at the moment? Obviously, if fixtures are worn or don't work properly - replace them. In a few years it will all be labeled "retro" and will be "in" again!

If the prospective buyer takes issue with them, then you can grant an allowance, or offer to replace them with the cheapest material you can find. Why does everything have to be so matchy-matchy, anyway? (Because it makes people run out and buy NEW!)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:17PM
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Problem with brass, it gets nasty looking over time. My bathrooms were updated in the 80's and all solid brass. Over time the coating wears off in spots, it becomes discolored, etc. I don't care how expensive the faucets are, they look awful after 15 yrs. They also stain the sinks and counter tops. I pulled them all and put in chrome.
Phoggie, there were small holes in the tile from the shower doors. They were small and I put a small amount of colored caulk and filled them. No one has ever noticed them. I bought extension curtain rods for the tubs and hung curtains. No holes to hang the curtains. Inexpensive rods from Target. I'll look for photos. My oldest bath (never updated) had green 'everything.' Horrid! So I reglazed the tub white, took off the shower doors and it looked fresh and clean.

No one isn't going to buy your house because of faucets and shower doors. But it is the overall impression of the house and rooms. If the rooms look fresh and clean, not shabby, the buyer walks away feeling they can move right in without having to do anything. Its like a first impression. If the rooms look shabby and old, the buyer walks away with that impression of the whole house.

I did not do major updating. I set a budget to update certain things which I felt brought down the room. Faucets, light fixtures, shower doors and knobs were replaced and truly transformed dated baths into very fresh, pretty bathrooms. I think the updating not only sold my house but got me the price I wanted. I think it is important.

I'll look for a few before and after photos.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:47PM
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Funny enough, I was watching House Hunters last night and the prospective buyer commented "I can't handle those brass shower doors."

Brass faucets and showers scream the 1990's to me.

Then again, ten years from now we will be on here saying the same thing about oil rubbed bronze.

If you do replace, may I suggest good old chrome? Just seems to me you can't go wrong with it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 8:43AM
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In a few years it will all be labeled "retro" and will be "in" again!

Yeh, but she is selling the house now, not in a few years. Retro takes about 40 years, that's why 1960-ish stuff is retro-current.

I agree that you can't change everything to update a house, but borders at the ceiling and brass fixtures are not attractive to young buyers.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 10:17AM
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GOOD brass fixtures should be left alone. GOOD brass is good stuff, and anything you do to the finish, like painting it or even trying to age it, will probably diminish it's value. And it's not hard to see the difference between GOOD brass and CHEAP brass after 10 years or so...

There's a house in our neighborhood that's been on the market for more than 5 years, listed between $1.5 and $2.0 million -- so a very upscale house for our city. All of the fixtures are shiny brass, and most of them are very nice -- clearly high quality. But the overall impression is of a house that's very dated, which is (IMO) probably why it's not selling in the price range the owner is asking. Buyers who are used to seeing 'up to date' houses (and at that price range, they are) walk in and see brass, brass, brass and more brass -- along with Corian in the kitchen, 15 year old appliances, dark green marble, and yes, mulberry. The overall impression is dated.

Some shiny brass is very tolerable. Lighting fixtures, faucets (if they still look great), and door hardware (less so, cabinet knobs) in shiny brass, I'd happily live with. But where there are ALSO lots of other little bits of shiny brass, the overall effect could be way too much -- the kind of effect that screams "Get rid of all the brass!"

That's why I suggested replacing little things like switchplates. Yes, technically, it's a downgrade. But if it keeps the room from feeling 'brassy' -- then it's an improvement. Switchplates in the same color as your walls or woodwork would be my recomendation.

Photos would help...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 11:29AM
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What good are brass faucets if they turn green after a few days, stain the sink and counter green? Mine were beautiful and it killed me to get rid of them. Maybe they were worth something as scrap but they were worthless for selling my house. The brass shower doors screamed 'brass.' I replaced everything with chrome. Bathrooms looked new and updated.

FWIW, my husband and I are looking at condos to rent after the house closes. He retires in a year and we'll rent until we decide what to do with the rest of our life. We are looking at condo's which are townhouses...we have a lot of furniture. In our area they are close in price per sq ft but I can't imagine spending the same on non-updated kitchens and baths. We are torn between location (very important) and paying high rent for old looking kitchens and baths. We can't do the updating, as we're renting and I'm having a problem imagining myself living with old stuff. If I see another bathroom with those round, hollywood lights, I'll scream!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 7:50PM
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Our fireplace surround is shiny brass. Everything else in the room is brushed nickel (knobs on TV stand, lamps, etc...). I think the fp screams 1980's (when the house was built). My DH said they are solid brass and no way would he replace them.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 1:47PM
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Our fixtures and hardware were polished brass in the bathrooms as well as the surround for the fireplace, some light fixtures, and all doorknobs. However, our kitchen faucet was polished chrome and knobs/handles were black in addition to the light in the breakfast nook and dining room. Our realtor said it wouldn't matter if everything didn't match because the house showed so well; and she was right. Our house, built in 1995 in Michigan, sold in one day back in Sept. 2013, and we had a bidding war going on. We received $6000.00 over our asking price. People were especially in love with our kitchen even though we didn't have a range hood or high end appliances. Go figure!

Here is a link that might be useful: House with brass fixtures sold in one day

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:55PM
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If I'm fortunate enough to be able to move I will be removing ALL my shiny brass doorknobs, lever handles and dead bolts before listing my home....because I will be using all my brass Baldwin hardware in the new place!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Well, apart from its shinyness, there's a difference between the old brass and the new brass, as well as its context.

Here is a link that might be useful: updating cheap brass fixture

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:44AM
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My first thought was also spray paint! Especially the hinges...

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:25AM
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I have to tell you, I think of shiny (or dulled from age) brass doorknobs and hinges as default. Every time I see doors with any other color (except an older house with glass knobs), they stand out to me. Faucets, light fixtures, cabinet knobs, fireplace doors look "dated" but door knobs blend right in to me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:12PM
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