How to Apply Stain or Paint Over Lacquered Brass

Shiny, lacquered brass was once popular for many home accessories, especially lighting fixtures such as lamps and chandeliers.
Restore an old brass door knocker with a simple paint job.Restore an old brass door knocker with a simple paint job.
As this finish has largely fallen out of fashion, you may want to replace the lacquered brass in your home with something modern. Perhaps you've fallen for the lines of a lacquered brass piece at a tag sale or antique store, but not the finish. Remove the lacquer properly, and you can paint over those brass pieces to yield a completely different look.

Step 1

Put on rubber gloves and a paper dust mask. Dampen a rag with liquid de-glosser and rub it all over the brass. Change the cloth as necessary to prevent smudging the brass with black marks.

Step 2

Wipe the brass thoroughly with a clean rag. Apply some acetone to a cotton pad and clean the brass again. Again, change the cotton pad as it becomes dirty.

Step 3

Dry the brass again with the clean rag. Sand the entire brass surface evenly with fine-grit sandpaper. Rub the brass down with a tack cloth to remove the sanding dust.

Step 4

Use painter's tape to cover any cords, sockets and other accessories you don't want splattered with paint. Spray the brass with a light coat of oil-based white primer. Wait 30 minutes and spray on a second coat.

Step 5

Sand any drips lightly with fine-grit sandpaper and clean up any dust with the tack cloth. Paint the brass with flat-finish oil-based paint in the color of your choice. Spray on two coats as you did with the primer.

Step 6

Let the paint dry several hours. Sand any drips again and wipe down the brass as you did before. Cover the brass with one coat of clear, spray-on water-based polyurethane and let it dry 24 hours before removing any tape.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper dust mask
  • Rags
  • Liquid de-glosser
  • Acetone
  • Cotton pads
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • Oil-based spray-on primer
  • Flat oil-based spray-on paint
  • Spray-on water-based polyurethane

Warning

  • Work in a well-ventilated area.

About the Author

Jourdan Townsend has been writing since childhood. Her articles appear in a collection of student works at the University of Oklahoma as well as in the school's "Honors College Journal." Townsend also composes poetry, some of which can be found in an edition of the "Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans." Townsend holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication.