Brushed nickel spray paint on brass

marti8aAugust 14, 2008

I started with a lamp that had been in the garage for awhile & the base was severely discolored, and some rust even.

I used steel wool on it & removed most of the finish & rough spots, then taped just the electic thingy at the top & the cord. It took about 4 coats to cover the discolorations, but then had a gritty feel to it from so many coats.

I thought "what the heck" and used steel wool on it again & most if not all the rough feel came off. In fact, then it looked just like my brushed nickel hardware. The can said that applying clear coat would dull the finish, and they were serious. I put about 6 coats of polyurethane spray on it, and it now has a mat finish, but to me definitely looks painted.

Then I decided to try one of my bathroom pieces, the toilet paper holder since it is out of sight for the most part, and if it doesn't turn out, it's the piece I would most want replaced. TP hangs on it's curved part.

It had just a few discolored speckles but wasn't too bad. After I got it taped off (the worst part) I took it out to the garage to paint, forgetting that I had used steel wool on the lamp & not these pieces. It only took 2 coats to cover the discolored spots.

After those 2 coats, it's surface was smooth. I put about 3 coats of poly on them, and they also have a mat finish, but look better than the lamp. I don't know if the difference was because the lamp had more coats or if the steel wool made the difference. Then I took the tape off the chrome. I had put the tape as close to the brass part as I could and pushed it down in the crevice with my fingernail. When I took the tape off, I saw that the crevice wasn't painted and the brass showed, so I taped off just the round button part & sprayed another coat.

After untaping, I thought they still had a brassy look, but put them next to my brushed nickel and they are exactly the same color, but not as smooth to the touch as the manufactured stuff. Retaping & repainting made a line on it that needs to be smoothed out with another coat, and I can tell the bottom doesn't have as much paint as the top part, so I'll retape & spray one more coat tomorrow. Then untape & put a coat or two on the whole thing so the chrome will get a little more protection too.

And I also painted the middle roller, not only because it was the brass color (it's plastic) but because one of my little darlings spent some time scratching the paint off & scratching their initials in it.

I don't have a pic of it finished but it looks like the other stuff. I don't think the paint on it will stick long because of the spring movement in it, but maybe the edges will look better than before.

So, after doing this, I don't think it is great for big pieces, but for the little bits of brass trim like I have on my hardware, I think it looks ok. And for the most part, it won't have anything touching it, so hopefully will hold up for awhile. I'll let you know if it doesn't.

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I have been experimenting with some items also(light fixtures). I have a flushed mount fixture that I did in antique pewter that I like the looks of but the brass chandelier that I did in a hammered black I did not care at all how it turned out. it is a trial and error process I think.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Marti8a, isn't it fun using spray paint to give something old, new life? I love the stuff myself and there are so many awesome products out there now that you can do so many things with. Your projects look really good.
The detailed taping leaves a lot to be desired, but it's a must. The results are worth it though.
Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Marti8a - What brand of paint did you use and what color?
I am getting ready to do a similar project

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 7:55PM
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Thanks for sharing.

I spray painted my outside lantern and house numbers a hammered brown. They were brass and discolored. I went over them lightly with steel wool. I did several thin coats. They look brand new.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:32PM
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I used Krylon brushed metallic Satin Nickel. Like happyladi said, the secret is several thin coats. I think that's why I didn't like the lamp as well; it was too heavy.

happyladi, did it look like hammered metal when you finished?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:09PM
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good morning....What is the best way to do kitchen cabinet hinges? Right now they are antique brass & about 12 years old & I have new handles but did not get the hinges. I knew I could paint them. any suggestions?? thanks!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:48AM
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You could use Rub and Buff on the hinges without removing them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rub and Buff

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Unless you have some odd style of hinge, I would just replace the hinge. You can usually find hinges for less than $1 a piece. I think paint works well on some items like lights and frames. But having metal and painted (metal color)close together usually doesn't work well, too easy to notice the difference.

I have used the "hammer" texture paints before and they do give a surprising amount of texture. I didn't like them in my application, but I'm sure they would do well in other applications. I was hoping the hammered paints would help hide the shimmery-metal paints "lack of depth" in the finish, but it really didn't help.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 3:13PM
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One suggestion I have is to use "chrome" spray paint rather than "brushed nickel". It actually comes out with a brushed finish, but less matte than the "brushed nickel" paint. I've used the "chrome" from Krylon on ceiling fans and really like the way it turned out.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 3:25PM
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Can anyone recommend a metalic paint that comes in a can (quart, etc)? I have a brass ceiling fan I want to work with (paint pewter/brushed nickel/or some form of "silver") but it has numerous "decorative" holes up near the mechanics that are too small to cover. Therefore a spray paint wouldn't work. With a brush paint, I can painstakingly take the care to minimize the paint that makes it into the holes. Everywhere I look, I find spray paint, but not brushable paint so any suggestions would be helpful!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 11:13AM
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I spray painted this light, it was cheap looking brass, and nothing in our master bath is brass or gold, but rather chrome, so I simply took a silver/chrome spray paint and, it turned out great! much better looking now as it hangs above my garden/ Jacuzzi tub

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Do you think this would work on a brass plated shower door trim? We just replaced all fixtures with brushed nickel and need to update the door which is in good condition. A new door is very expensive- looking for alternative to replacing the existing one.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 12:18PM
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The only thing I would worry about is the paint chipping off. With lamps there isn't a lot of touching or movement, but I would think the constant opening & closing wouldn't work as well with paint.

That said, it's worth a try and is cheaper & easier than replacing the shower doors or trim.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Have you thought of the Sophisticated Finishes instead ? You can use it on lamps so quickly and no spraying paint and no coat after coat. You can use it on the trim on the shower and use the sealer 1st and last and then according to the pagk it is sealed enough to use it outdoors which would cover the exposure to wet in the shower area too. I hope this helps.

SF is available at all Michaels and well as mail order. Caroline

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 2:20PM
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I would like to change my brass colored bathroom fixtures to brush nickel. This would include towel holders, cabinet knobs and paper holder. Do you think a silver/chrome spray paint would cover the brass and look nice long term?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 7:28PM
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susieq, your lamp looks terrific. What brand paint did you use?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 8:08PM
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Can you also tell us what poly clear coat you used? I've been advised to use a lacquer clear coat on the brass light fixture I'm refinishing but I can't seem to find one. Is poly the way to go? Or does anyone have a lacquer to recommend? Also, as I understand it, these things are solvent based, right? Is there a problem using them on a flush mount light fixture? Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:23AM
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