How to Spray Paint Brass

You probably have some fantastic brass candlesticks or other accessories lying around the house.

Or maybe you stumbled on a fabulous flea market piece and had the vision to know that with a little paint, that brass fixture could be beautiful. Don't throw out a fantastic home accessory just because you don't love the finish. Paint can instantly transform your brass into something you will love.

Thoroughly clean your brass accessory with equal parts ammonia and water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to get into all the creases and crevices. Leaving grease or grime on the surface of the brass will cause the paint to flake and chip over time.

Tape over any areas that you don't want painted. Lay your accessory out on a drop cloth or newspapers, preferably outside. Spray primer will ruin nearby surfaces, so it is best to do this type of project outdoors.

Spray primer onto the accessory. Get into all of the crevices and corners. Really coat the brass fixture with primer. Use a primer formulated for slick surfaces, usually referred to as a bonding primer. Allow primer to dry completely.

Apply the paint. Use spray paint to completely cover the item, or use any number of faux painting and glazing techniques to create a weathered, antique effect. Choose your paint technique and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If opting to fully cover the brass item with paint, use spray paint for the best finish. Use long, even strokes, overlapping each stroke slightly.

Allow your accessory to dry completely. Look over the item carefully to spot any drip marks. Use extra-fine grit sandpaper and go over the drip marks lightly to remove them. Use touch-up paint, if necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint or glaze


  • Spray paint comes in a variety of finishes, including those that imitate other metals. You can convert brass into an accessory that looks like iron or silver with the right choice of paint.

About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.