Painting polished brass

sophiesudsOctober 14, 2007

In response to another thread, someone suggested painting a fireplace screen (polished brass) black. And that got me wondering; is that possible? I have some light fixtures that I wouldn't mind changing out the shiny brass look. If this can be done, can someone tell me how?

Thanks! Sophie

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Sophie--I just spray painted some shiny brass fixtures with the textured paint and they turned out wonderfully. They look like oil rubbed bronze now.
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    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 5:00PM
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This is the textured spray paint also.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 6:35PM
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Sophie - You can absolutely paint brass fixtures. We have done many here and have some more to go. We did a FP screen and also did 2 ceiling fans. We used the rustoleum paint.
Here are some pics.
Ceiling Fan Before: Brass and ugly weave

Ceiling Fan after: Flipped over blades, replaced type of light and painted a brownish bronze.

Fire Place Before - Ugly Brass with Black doors. A lot has actually changed - no more wood trim.

Fire Place After: Painted high heat black. DH removed the screen and then mortered it back on.

Hope this helps..

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 6:57PM
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hmm.. I think my photo storage place is having server issues.. some photos aren;t showing up.. I guess it will show up eventually..

Here's my other ceiling fan - this is the same color as the other one. This one we bought all new shades to replace the very 80's ones that were on there,

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:00PM
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I painted mine and used the Tremclad regular spray paint for metal. I was told that if the screen gets really hot during use, I should use the high heat paint, but mine is warm to the touch only, so I opted for the regular paint.

It has made it through three - four winters very well (we use the fireplace a lot!!), so I guess it's OK.

I bought the Tremclad metal spray primer (gray) and the paint at Home Depot and I also picked up some sanding sponges. I spent probably a total of 10 minutes just roughing up the brass and sanding off the little rust spots that made me consider painting in the first place.

I taped the glass and covered it with newspaper several layers thick. I didn't paint the handles or the knobs on the chains.

I painted the outside only (figured who's going to stick their head in the fireplace to look at the backside anyway LOL), although if you intend to paint the inside of the screen or the inside of the firebox itself, I guess the high-heat paint would be smarter.

I can't stress enough the importance of waiting the full 72 hours after priming before spraying on the regular paint. You will get REALLY ugly crackles (large and raised) if the primer is not fully cured. This is the voice of experience speaking :-)

Good luck, and if you have any more questions, just ask!

This is mine.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:41PM
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Good to know this gals. I have a rather large brass chandy (was in dining now in Mstr Bed) that I definitely don't want to see the brass on. What do y'all mean by *textured paint*? There are assorted types of Rustoleum - can you give some specifics? Your stuff looks awesome! Wonderful change.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:43PM
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My textured paint is Rustoleum and the color is Autumn Brown.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:56PM
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I painted a hall vanity bath light in the Rustoleum in the brown color. It looks like the one shown here but I don't remember the name. It matches the new ceiling light that we put in there and save me some $$.

I am very interested in the name of the paint and color of the ones that look like the oil rubbed bronze. I have several standing shiny brass lamps that I love except for the shiny brass. I think I will try to paint them. But I don't want them as brownish as the one in the bath room. ORB look would be great.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 9:47PM
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Wow! All the pictures look amazing! I can't wait to try.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:11PM
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Adding my voice to the chorus of 'details please'!!

Love2weed and Michelle, I'm especially interested in how you did your finishes. I've got 2 identical polished brass floor lamps that I love for their light and hate for their finish. The brass is starting to corrode on a few spots too, which is really attractive-not.

If I could get them to come out like the examples here I'd be a very happy painter.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:20PM
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What an interesting thread. Everything you've painted looks new. I wonder if you could paint brass bathroom knobs and pulls, too? Do you think handling them would damage the painted finish? I sure would love to paint mine rather than replace them. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:25PM
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Yes, you can paint (real) metal bathroom knobs and pulls too. I'll check with my SuperMom/Martha-of-the-West sister who did that in a kitchen for my mother. She BAKES them in the oven after the paint dries. Will report back with the "recipe." It'll be a few days.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:35PM
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Textured paint looks somewhat like orange peel does on walls. DH also used one for cars to paint a hard dashboard panel ('66 Jag-XKE) and that one looks like real leather.

It will indicate "textured finish" on the spray can front and you can tell what it will look like by the spray can cover which is finished in the, uh, finish of the paint.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:45PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

I have painted several things with my trusty cans of spray paint. It started with my bathroom. My brass towel bars were starting to pit and we had changed the fixtures to a bronze tone. I painted the towel bars by priming with spray primer(the red-brown color), then lightly spraying with brown satin spray paint. If you get it too heavy just spray some of the other color. In the guest bath the mirror was more black-brown. There I started with the primer followed by spritzes of the brown and black satin spray paint.

We just had our house painted and I was tired of the 16 year old light fixtures. While the painters had them down, they too met up with the spray paint cans. Our house is gray and most of the new exterior light fixtures were black. Mine are now black! I sprayed them with hammered black and black satin for a textured effect.

I figured with all of these items the cost of the spray paint was minimal(maybe 5-7 cans at $3 each) But the cost of replacing 5 towel bars and 7 light fixtures was not minimal. If I change my mind later, I'm not out very much.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 4:07AM
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To answer Sofie's original question yes, you can paint a fireplace screen but, no you can't use the cool paint products the above posters have. You will have to get high heat paint which comes in only a few colors. Black being one of them.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 6:09AM
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teedup1: I'm excited that you have a "recipe." I appreciate your going to the extra trouble to find this out for me.

sophiesuds: Thank you for starting this thread!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 7:57AM
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Blueenough: Am leaving on a high school reunion cruise today (my 10th?, 20th?, 30th? - oh, no, don't want to think of the REAL #) and will be back next weekend with that recipe from sis.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 9:23AM
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I have 2 ceiling fans and 2 light fixtures I would love 2 do, but I suppose there is no way to do this without unwiring them and removing them is there? I seriously doubt DH would unwire these, take them down, then put them back up. :(

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 12:45PM
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This is exactly what I needed to read about! I have a shiny brass floor lamp that needs an update and this will make it perfect!



    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Oh Goody, A post after my own heart...Painting Brass (or anything else to match without going to the expense of buying it new)! LOL

OK, here's my entry:

Old white cheapy ceiling fan to a reasonable facsimilie of ORB

Plain wood dowel rod painted to match fan

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Only saw red X's when I first came to this post but now that I see all the the pics, you've all done incredible jobs changing the finishes!!!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 1:44PM
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Another thought, if you live near a military base that has a craft shop and you have access, you can use their facilities for doing this. Much better on the environment (the one you live in) or you could take them to a body shop who will do it professionally and if you happen to use them a lot, they might do it for nearly nothing.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 1:47PM
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Michelle, what kind of paint did you use. It looks like brushed nickel in the photo

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 8:19PM
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Sophiesuds, I used Rust-o-leum hammered spray paint with the silver cap. I don't actually see a color name on the can. I have also used the hammered bronze on some things in my kitchen such as the window cranks, undercabinet light fixtures and cabinet handles.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 10:53PM
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Blueenough: Well, finally. Here's my sister's "recipe" for painting cabinet knob/pulls (as to the oven-baking of painted metal pulls, apparently I was mistaken as she notes below):

"Remove from fixtures. Drop into a really good degreaser solution and get all the gunk off. Let dry thoroughly!
Use a high quality epoxy spray paint.

"Depending on the shape of knobs or handles and your manual dexterity, determining how you might best balance the objects, before/during/after the painting, is of importance BEFORE you actually start spraying.

"Sometimes it works better if you do it in two steps, if there's a definite top and bottom. Otherwise, put the screws back on and use them as holders.

"Trick is to spray just enough for good coverage without getting runs. IF YOU MUST SPRAY AGAIN TO GET THE MISSED SPOTS.... WAIT WAIT WAIT, until paint has REALLY cured... it will wrinkle, otherwise.
(Read label for 2nd coats and then add a little more time.)
I NEVER USED AN OVEN-CURE METHOD. Try to do it on a hot, dry, non-windy day.
Good Luck! Tina"

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 11:10PM
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teedup1, I've missed your post until today. Thanks so much for the information. Now all I need again is a hot day.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 4:37PM
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Is there a paint that can be used that doesn't have to be sprayed on and could be actually painted? I have three brass "buttons" on a window treatment. (kind of hard to explain) I really can't figure out how to actually take them down, so I'd like to tape around them and then use paint with a brush to change them. Is there any kind of paint that would come in a bottle?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Does anyone know the answer to my question above? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 11:10AM
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Cind11: Go to your local craft store. In the paint section you will find hundreds of craft paints in small quantities. You will find metal, gloss, matt, etc......
I'm sure you can find something to do what you want.

Usually there will be a salesperson familiar w/ the products & can help you decide which would be best for your purpose.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Thanks! I am going to do that!


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 12:44PM
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Does rustoleum only come in spray cans? I have shiny brass stair railing handles that I can't take off. Rest of hardware on doors in the house is wrought iron -- black and old.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 6:34PM
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These lamps used to be bright brass. I spray painted them maybe 10 or more years ago.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 9:00PM
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