Painting Brass – A Tutorial

This picture from Potterybarn made me gasp yesterday. “Eureka!” I said to myself and ran to my basement to fetch a brass hook that I bought at an estate sale last summer. I liked the hook but I wasn’t too fond of the brass finish. I had it slated as a door or robe  hook but this bathroom photo made me think that it might work in my newly updated upstairs bath. I have been looking for something to hang a hand towel near the sink. I purchased a round ring type towel holder but have not put it up yet; I’m glad I waited. Look at the little hook that is next to the sink in the potterybarn photo – that is my inspiration for this post!

image from Potterybarn

I have been seeing some lovely photos on Pinterest (follow me!) of painted brass candlesticks and lamps.

courtesy from Billiemonster.com/blog

As a matter of fact, I have painted a number of chandeliers including these two that I painted for Liz and Brentan’s country wedding.

So here is what I did:

1. I used #0000 steel wool to clean and scruff up the brass hook so the paint could adhere to the metal.

2. I next sprayed on a coat of primer that is made for metal. I let it dry for 1 hour.

3. Since I wanted my hook to match the bathroom mirror frame, I could not use spray paint.  I used the same yellow latex enamel from the mirror and my floor cloth projects  to paint my little duck. I was careful to paint a number of thin coats to avoid lumps and drips. I also lightly sanded with my #0000 steel wool between coats. I let the brass show through a bit because I wanted it to keep it’s vintage look.

4. When it was thoroughly dry, I sprayed a couple of coats of clear polyurethane to add more protection.

5. I also painted the heads of  2 screws that I used to attach it to the wall.

6. Look!

sprayed with primerFinished HookIt works!

Finished Hook



5 thoughts on “Painting Brass – A Tutorial

  1. I love that hook and am a “not fond of brass finish” person myself. I bought 2 brass lamps at an auction in October (for $2, yay me!), brought them home, prime & painted them oil rubbed bronze, ripped the cover off the old lampshades and covered them with some cool material. New lamps for less than $15! I’ve threatened to paint anything and everything that’s brass in my house. The hubs took my spray paint away!

    • Yay is right! I think I might be on a painting roll too…I have a brass lamp, a brass chandelier, some brass candlesticks and a brass platter all sitting in my basement waiting for someone to give them a new life. I have tomato red on my mind…

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