Shiny brass hardware, whether it be a doorknob or a light fixture, was popular in homes in the 1980s, but as time passes, so do decorative tastes. For those brass pieces that no longer fit in, there's the option of a more subtle Venetian bronze look. Buying all new hardware can be expensive, but you can change out the old brass for new bronze with a bit of faux finishing. Apply a few spray-painted colours and you can give yourself the look of bronze without the high cost.
Skill level:Moderately Easy
Things you need
ScrewdriverMild liquid soapClothMasking tapeFine-grit sandpaperNewspaperBlack self-etching primer spray paintCopper spray paintAntique bronze spray paint
1 Remove the brass hardware using a screwdriver to take out the screws holding it in place.
2 Clean the hardware thoroughly with mild soap and water, using a cloth to remove any dirt that might interfere with the paint adhesion. Pat the brass dry with a clean cloth.
3 Place masking tape over any area of the hardware that you don't wish to paint.
4 Lightly roughen the surface using a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to provide a slight texture to which the paint can adhere. Without such texture, the paint is likely to peel off. Wipe the hardware down with a tack cloth to remove any sanding residue.
5 Place the piece on a flat work surface covered in newspaper, with the part that will be against the door or wall facing down so that you can work on all of the exposed surface at once.
6 Spray the brass with black self-etching primer, which helps to build adhesion further between the brass and the paint. Build up a coat consisting of three thin layers of the black paint. Use a back and forth motion to apply the paint, beginning the spray slightly prior to hitting the hardware, then ending the spray slightly after you've gone past the other edge. Turn the hardware in place while spraying to make sure you cover the entire piece. Allow the paint to dry completely for the time suggested by the paint manufacturer.
7 Spray the brass with a coat of copper paint. Use the same spraying process that you used with the black paint to give the piece complete coverage. The black primer should help darken the copper a bit and deepen shadows in any lines on your object, helping them to stand out against the copper more. Allow the copper spray paint to dry completely.
8 Cover the copper paint with a thin layer of antique bronze paint. Keep the bronze layer thin enough to be sort of translucent -- you should be able to see the copper paint beneath the bronze. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and then remove the masking tape. Return the now-bronze-looking hardware to the spot or fixture from which you removed it.
Tips and warnings
Spray-paint the screws for the hardware as well, to have a continuous bronze-looking surface.
Wear a respirator and paint in a well-ventilated area with open windows and doors to avoid inhaling paint fumes.