How to spray paint brass light fixtures

Written by terri rawls
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How to spray paint brass light fixtures
Revive that brass light fixture with spray paint. (Photo by Terri Rawls)

Have you found yourself in the middle of a remodelling project and just can't stand the old brass light fixture for one more minute? Maybe the problem is that you love the style of the light fixture but wish it was a different colour. The solution is simple and won't require a lot of time or money. In a few hours you can totally change the look and feel of a brass light fixture using spray paint.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Brass light fixture
  • Painter's tape
  • Detergent
  • Water
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Spray paint

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  1. 1

    Remove all parts of the brass light fixture that you do not wish to paint. If the fixture is in use, it must be removed or you must take precautions to protect ceilings and walls, as well as providing adequate ventilation for fumes. To remove the light fixture, turn off all electrical power. Remove the plate covering the wires and unwire the fixture. You may want to mark the wires as you disconnect them for easy rewiring.

  2. 2

    Clean the brass light fixture with detergent and water to remove dirt and lightly sand away any signs of corrosion with fine sandpaper. Rinse well. Avoid getting the socket area (where the light bulb and globe is inserted) wet. Allow it to dry thoroughly before painting.

  3. 3

    Protect the brass light fixture's sockets and wires from paint by wrapping each piece with painter's tape. This also saves you time because you do not have to be so careful around these protected areas.

  4. 4

    Prime the brass light fixture before painting. Hold the can 4 to 6 inches from the fixture and spray the primer on in small bursts of paint rather than a continuous stream of paint to help keep it from running. Apply a light coat of paint to the entire light fixture, painting the most visible side last. Allow to dry thoroughly.

  5. 5

    Spray your chosen colour over the primer by holding the can 4 to 6 inches from the brass light fixture and spraying the paint on in small bursts of paint rather than a continuous stream. This technique will help keep the paint from running. Apply a light coat of paint to the entire light fixture and allow to dry thoroughly. Apply a second coat of paint if needed. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Spray paints are available in many colours.
  • Turn off all electrical power before uninstalling or installing a light fixture.
  • Work in a well ventilated area when painting with spray paint.
  • Wear a protective mask over your nose to prevent inhaling.
  • Protect eyes with safety glasses.

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