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Duplicate a Faux Antique Oil Rubbed Bronze
Finish Using Krylon Paints

Original article by Pete Rossi of Krylon.  Additional information and project by Natural Handyman

Paints for oil rubbed bronze finishOil-rubbed bronze is everywhere!  It has become a standard finish for all types of metalwork around the home... faucets, mirror frames, doorknobs, switchplates, and more.

The problem is, of course, that you may wish to have the oil rubbed bronze look but can't find the product you need in the correct right finish.  No problemo!!  You can get a great "faux" oil rubbed bronze finish using a two or three cans of Krylon paints.  Here are the materials you need (or may need) for this project:

Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer - Black (#51316)
Krylon General Purpose Metallic - Copper Metallic (#2203)
Krylon Brushed Metallic - Oil Rubbed Bronze (#51254)
Masking or "painter's tape"
Newspaper
Plastic bags
Drop cloth

Here are two projects... a chandelier redo and a toilet flush handle. 

No, not from the same room, though I think a chandelier in a bathroom might be cool!  Buffy, could you pass the newspaper? 

The chandelier is a project supplied to us by Krylon, the manufacturer of the paints used in these projects. 

The toilet handle, on the other hand, is my own little project.  My entire newly-renovated bathroom is oil rubbed bronze, but I could not purchase a handle for the toilet that wasn't either black, brass or chrome so I decided to recolor it myself.

1)  The Chandelier...

Oil rubbed bronze finish on chandelier1) Cover your work surface with a drop cloth or newspaper to protect it from overspray.  Unless you use an old hunk of plywood like I do! 

2) Disassemble fixture, removing bulbs, glass globes, plastic pieces and other items that do not require painting. Thoroughly clean all pieces that you will be painting so they are free of grease, film, dust, and lint.

3) If necessary, use newspaper or plastic grocery bags and masking tape to mask off all areas that will not be painted.

4) Position fixture so that all surfaces to be painted are accessible.

5) Following the instructions on the can, apply the black primer first. Use short sweeping strokes to prevent overspray. (This applies to all spray painting jobs!) Apply several light coats versus one heavy coat. If paint is applied too heavily, it might puddle or run; if this happens, sand smooth and reapply primer. Let dry.

6) Paint fixture with Copper paint, covering all surfaces. Again, use several light coats. Let dry.

7) Lightly spray with Oil Rubbed Bronze, allowing the Copper paint to show through on some edges and surfaces. Let dry. Examine finish to determine if an additional coat is needed. Proceed carefully, as the more coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze applied, the darker the finish and the less Copper patina you'll see. NOTE: Consider practicing your technique on a disposable surface first, to determine the color and patina you prefer.

8) When desired patina or color is achieved, let dry. Remove all masking tape and reassemble fixture.

Now, lets change our brushed brass toilet handle to oil rubbed bronze

1) If you are painting metal or a previously painted item, give it a thorough sanding.  For inside work, priming isn't really necessary as long as you thoughly clean the item of oils and rough it up a bit with a fine sandpaper. 

2) Mask any parts you don't want painted.  Though it's a small surface, masking is just as important!  No sense in getting paint of anything but where you want it!  I secured the toilet handle with a C-clamp.

Toilet handle changed to oil rubbed bronze  Copper tone paint on toilet handle

3)  After primer is dry (if you bothered), apply a few coats of the Copper-tone paint.  Spray lightly with multiple coats 5 or 10 minutes apart till the item is adequately covered. 

Toilet with oil rubbed bronze handle installed4) Allow to dry overnight before continuing.  If you don't allow adequate drying time, you may cause the copper paint to wrinkle and lift.

5)  As with the chandelier job above, lightly spray with Oil Rubbed Bronze, allowing the Copper paint to show through on some edges and surfaces. Let dry. Examine finish to determine if an additional coat is needed. Proceed carefully, as the more coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze applied, the darker the finish and the less Copper patina you'll see. NOTE: Consider practicing your technique on a disposable surface first, to determine the color and patina you prefer.

66)  IT'S WORTH REPEATING.  DON'T OVERSPRAY THE OIL RUBBED BRONZE or you'll lose the antique appearance the copper bleed-through lends the job!

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