Since the Middle Ages man has been on a quest to turn baser metals into gold.  Midus had the touch! And a silly goose was a million dollar layer!
I wish this post today was about gold … but it is about OIL RUBBED BRONZE.
This is not a flashy post… but VERY practical!  Sorry, no pretty pictures!
As styles change, so do our tastes. I have a house full of good quality brass switch and outlet plates. Some are staying brass because I like them with my decor, but other’s look out of place… especially in my kitchen and family room!

Not wanting to invest in new plates, I repainted them… And they look great! They have a very authentic Oil Rubbed Bronze look.
It was so easy… 
~Rust-Oleum Metalic in Oil Rubbed Bronze
The can on the right. The one on the left is for another post~ spray painting brass on a fireplace.
Look at the brass switch plates in the background!

~Brown Switch Plate Screws

When spray painting use a well ventilated area. I set up a table in my garage covered with newspaper. A large pizza box became my “spray box”. I elevated each switch plate on 2 plastic cups to easily spray the sides.
See pictures below.

1. Remove plates from wall. 
2. Lightly Sand! Use a very fine grade sand paper. You want to rough the finish up just a tad to give it some “tooth”.  I sanded horizontally first, then vertically.

3. Set the switch plates on cups to make it easier to spray the sides.

4. Spray according to the directions. I did not prime the plates, but you could. 
I sprayed 1 very light coat and let it dry. Then…

A second heavier coat.  This completely covered the brass.

5. Wait till TOTALLY dry!  Don’t hurry this step.

6. Use BROWN swicth plate screws to fix the plate to the wall.

Brass to Oil Rubbed Bronze!!!!!
Now look at those old dimmers and white toggles!
My next project… replacing them!
I also have my eye on the brass doorknobs, hinges, light fixtures, fire place trim…


  1. says

    Yvonne, they look terrific! That is an expensive and easy way to update the look of a room. We have some brass light fixtures that could benefit from that process. Thanks for showing the results. I think I feel better about tackling the fixtures after seeing how nicely your brass turned to oil rubbed bronze.—–Shannon

  2. says

    I need to spray paint my brass fire place doors too!! Can’t wait for that post. But I think I’ll tackle the wall candle sconces while I wait! Thanks Yvonne, you are the best at providing inspiration!!

  3. says

    What a coincidence! I just this week took mine down from two rooms to do the same thing. I have a lot of brass around here still too. Yours look great.

  4. Anonymous says

    What you can’t learn in blogland and especially at StoneGable! Thanks for a g r e a t idea and inspiration. Do you think it would work on the plastic covers?

  5. says

    I have oil rubbed bronze hardware being installed in my kitchen today…so needless to say I am a fan! You made it look mighty easy to convert shiny brass to oil rubbed bronze!! Clever and great to know.

  6. says

    Be very very careful! Before you know it, your all your brass will be painted. I started with my family room fan, next all the light fixtures, next all outlet/switch covers, next towel bars/toilet roll, you see how this is going. It looks so much better and I had a blast! Enjoy!!!

  7. says

    What a nice and very pretty change. You are already thinking about my question: what about the hinges? It’s difficult to even think about taking them all off and reinstalling. I’ll wait until you decided what to do. 😉

  8. says

    I just did this in my living and dining rooms. Mine turned out great too. I am replacing the door knobs and hinges though…I wasn’t sure if the spray paint would hold up on something that was used so often. I’m anxious to see how yours turn out. I have a huge brass light fixture in my dining room I would love to paint ORB. I can’t take it down though so I would have to brush it. Any suggestions?

  9. says

    You are so talented and it looks wonderful. Thank you for showing us how to do this! My whole house is in oil rubbed bronze and I hope it doesn’t go out of style for a loooong time! Love it!

  10. says

    Ok, so I sprayed an old brass desk lamp ORB, and it looks black. I used the same brand. I would never paint my good solid brass, so I experimented on the lamp.
    Dh asked why if I painted it black for Halloween! :)

  11. says

    I have a brass fireplace surround that I’ve been thinking of painting. It’s a sealed gas unit and I can’t change the surround so painting it is my best option. I’ll be interested to see what you came up with. I wonder if I’d need high temp paint for it? Your switch plates look great! I put the oil rubbed bronze knobs in my kitchen too! I saved all my brass ones just in case!

  12. says

    I’ve used this paint quite a bit…one thing I sprayed was a white curtain rod since they didn’t make an oil rubbed bronze one in that size…you’d never know it was painted. Love it!!

  13. says

    Wonderful idea. I recently changed some knobs on a buffet because they were too shiny… But I kept them, just in case an idea popped in my mind… And here it is: the idea popped in your mind!!! Those brass knobs are going bronze next thing they know!

  14. says

    I am SO going to do this!!!! Much less expensive than replacing everything! I wonder if I could do the same to all the doorknobs? Yikes….that’s a lot of doorknobs! :-) This is a terrific idea, though, and I am going to pitch the idea to hubby. Thanks!

  15. says

    i just finished doing this to all our bathroom hooks and light fixtures that were brass… it looks wonderful! However I did finish off the oil rubbed bronze with a clear finish spray just so they would hold up to “rubbing” more… hopefully ! :) I even reused my screws just by dipping the heads of them in a small puddle of spray paint! LOL

  16. says

    Hi Yvonne….love the oil rubbed bronze….I did all my hinges, locks on the doors themselves …wow what a hard job…I ended up taping off the hinges with alot of newspaper and blue tape and lightly sprayed them…worked great…wow what a difference it is so updated like a model home…I however did have to purchasenew nobsforthe doors that were used the most…it all worked out great…loved the post and I love your recipes…phyllis

  17. says

    no that is truly amazing! I too have a lot of the brass around that was so popular, uh. 15 years ago! I’ve already changed out most of my kitchen knobs and handles…but boy is that expensive! I’m so happy to have read that you had success with this! Way to go!

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