How to Paint Polished Brass Fixtures

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If you plan to paint polished brass fixtures, you will need to contend with some complications. First, like other metallic surfaces, polished brass is nonporous, making it ill-suited for paint adhesion. You must abrade the metal before paint will stick. However, polished brass cannot be abraded like other metal, as this will result in a chemical reaction that will release toxins into the air. Before you get started, you need to know the proper preparation and application techniques, or you may find yourself in a dangerous predicament.

Things You'll Need

  • Respirator
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Masking paper
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop-cloths
  • Rags
  • Gloves
  • Mineral spirits
  • PCB etching kit
  • Oil-based spray primer
  • Oil-based spray paint
  • Open doors and windows to promote ventilation. Wear a respirator if you are working in an enclosed area with poor ventilation.

  • Protect areas adjacent to the polished brass fixtures using masking paper and painter's masking tape. Protect flooring with heavy-duty fabric drop-cloths.

  • Abrade the polished brass to stimulate primer and paint adhesion using a PCB etching kit. Consult the application instructions on the specific PBC etching kit you purchased. Do not use metallic abrasion acids to etch the brass.

  • Apply an oil-based spray primer to the polished brass fixtures. Spray the primer onto the fixtures in short, intermittent bursts. Do not saturate the brass with a thick, sloppy coat of paint, as this will lead to runs in the finish.

  • Allow the oil-based primer to dry for two hours, and then apply a coat of oil-based spray paint in the same way you applied the spray primer.

Tips & Warnings

  • PCB etching kits are available at paint and home improvement stores.
  • PCB etching kits vary. Consult the directions on the specific PBC etching kit you purchased for exact application instructions.
  • Metals are often abraded with acids. Do not use acids to abrade brass, as this will result in a chemical reaction that will release toxins into the air.
  • Photo Credit Toxic hazard flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com
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