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Anyone painted a brass towel bars?

Posted by marti8a (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 12, 08 at 12:20

I have 3 towel bars, a TP holder, and light fixture that are chrome with brass ends. They weren't cheap but the brass part hasn't held up well, maybe because they are in a bathroom & we have high humidity in summer. Anyway, the brass parts have tarnished and look awful, especially on the towel bars & TP holder.

I was thinking of painting the brass parts with a brushed nickel finish. I've read a few websites about painting brass, and most say brass isn't a good base for painting.

Mine is probably thin brass plating which probably had a clear coat (although by the amount of tarnish from the beginning, I wouldn't swear to that), so I think it might work.

I was wondering if anyone else had tried it and how it looked & held up.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Anyone painted a brass towel bars?

Yes, I did...I painted them the bronze color to match my faucet. I used black paint and copper paint together. They came good a perfect match with my new toilet paper holder.
I did it last May, it held up well.

RE: Anyone painted a brass towel bars?

I have never done it, but sounds like a great money saver. Would work on those ugly, chunky, wooden bath accessories, too!

RE: Anyone painted a brass towel bars?

marti8a, If you do go ahead and paint your brass items, please be sure to post a follow up (with pictures!)

Although it's not on the top of my list I would like to do the same someday. I also have a strip of polished brass around the shower door, and whoda thunk...that held up well! But it would be nice to change to brushed nickel or something. If you're like me and looking to change out light fixtures also, don't forget eBay! Some of the vanity fixtures go for a fraction of what HD wants.

RE: Anyone painted a brass towel bars?


I have spray painted metal towel bars, TP holder and door handles successfully. Here are the steps:

Strip the lacquer with paint thinner. If it is only brass plated (as mine were) you will strip down to the bare steel.

Lightly sand with fine sandpaper.

Lightly spray 3+ coats with your choice of finish, sanding lightly between coats.

Spray a clear coat if you like it shiny.

I used matte black on the bathroom fixtures and most door handles and a shiny purple for my DD's room. Even with no clear coat and daily use (and we are hard on stuff) they have all held up well. If you strip all of the lacquer off, sand well to rough up the surface, spray using a light hand, sand between the first couple of coats, let dry thoroughly (I prefer 24 hours) between coats and spray at least 3 coats they should hold up well.

Good luck-


RE: Anyone painted a brass towel bars?

No, but I painted a brass floor lamp. I used one of those metallic/textured spray paints from Michaels and it come out beautifully. I did it about 5 years ago and it has held up great.

RE: Anyone painted a brass towel bars?

I spray painted my brass house numbers and outside light with Rustoleum paint. The brass was tarnished looking and not in good shape. They came out great and look brand new.

Do your pieces outside on a still day, protect under them with a drop cloth or cardboard. Do several THIN coats. If you try to put too much on at once it will run and be globby.

Give them enough time to dry before putting in place. They will feel dry to the touch before you should mount them. We tried too soon and had to retouch the outside light.

I bet they will look great!

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