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How to Paint Brass Tables

Julie Hampton

Shiny brass tables may have been the rage in the 80s, but the design style has come and gone. However, tables can be given a quick makeover by transforming the glaring gold brass into a variety of different colors and finishes. Use a variety of spray paints for looks ranging from black wrought iron to hammered bronze. Remember the decorative painting method doesn't just have to be used on brass tables. Brass chandeliers, door knobs and hardware can all be transformed and given a new look with a simple coat of primer and paint.

  1. Clean the tables to remove dust and grime. Use a clean cloth and mineral spirits and wipe all the paintable brass areas. Sand the brass with 100-grit sandpaper. Lightly scuff up the brass surface. Wipe down the brass with a damp cloth to remove any metal flakes. Allow the surface to dry.

  2. Apply masking tape to any areas where paint should not touch, such as glass tabletops. Adhere plastic or newspaper to large surfaces for additional protection from overspray. Double check the entire table to ensure all areas which should not be painted are covered; it will be difficult to remove paint later.

  3. Work in a well-ventilated environment. Place plastic sheeting or drop clothes on the ground. Set the table in the center of the drop cloth. Use large pieces of cardboard to make a mock paint booth. Surround the perimeter of the paint area with cardboard on three sides to avoid overspray.

  4. Spray the brass with a metal primer. Hold the nozzle of the spray can 4 to 6 inches from the surface. Use light, even strokes to apply the primer. Avoid spraying on heavily to avoid drips; rather spray additional layers for more even coverage. Allow to dry two to four hours.

  5. Use a metallic or solid color spray paint to transform the brass into the final finish. Again, lightly spray the area using the same method as the primer. Once an overall opaque finish has been achieved allow the paint to dry two to four hours. Carefully remove all masking tape and protective covering.