Painting over old brass or gold can be a quick fix for updating the look of a worn or unsightly fixture. Over time, brass and gold will begin to look dated or dull due to time and environmental elements. Whether you are an avid flea market or antique shopper or a homeowner wishing to remodel a single room or the entire home, there are simple ways of redoing a brass or gold fixture so it looks new and updated.
Turn off all power breaker switches to any brass or gold light fixtures you may begin to work on. The main electrical panel or fuse boxes are typically located in a closet, room or garage of a home.
Remove the brass or gold plate at the top of the fixture with a screwdriver. Unwire the wires of the fixture after the plate is removed, and use a black marker to write on each wire for an easy reconnection.
Unscrew or use a screwdriver to remove any parts or pieces of the brass or gold fixture you do not want painted.
Fill one side of the kitchen sink with warm water. Add three to four drops of gentle dish soap to the warm water and stir the water to create a small amount of suds.
Dip a sponge into the soapy water and clean the brass or gold fixture with the damp sponge to remove all traces of dirt, grime or small particulates. Clean any removed pieces or parts of the fixture with the soapy water also.
Rub rusted or corroded sections of the brass or gold fixture with fine-grit sandpaper. Use the sponge to remove sanding dust and loose particles.
Lay the fixture onto a thick towel and allow it to dry thoroughly. Drying times will vary depending upon the temperature and humidity levels within the home.
Wrap any exposed wires and open sockets with painter's tape to prevent the paint from entering. Ensure any light bulb socket holes are thoroughly dry before proceeding.
Spread plastic sheeting outdoors on the ground or in an area receiving plenty of ventilation. Place clear goggles over the eyes, gloves on the hands and a filter mask over the nose and mouth to protect against paint fumes and flyaway spray particles.
Spray the brass or gold fixture with a light coat of primer. Keep the spray can at least 4 to 6 inches from the surface of the fixture to avoid overspray and running primer. Continue to spray the primer onto the fixture until you have lightly covered over the brass or gold. Allow the primer to dry up to two hours, or as recommended on the included instructions.
Apply a light coat of the desired spray color or finish onto the primed fixture, keeping the spray at least 4 to 6 inches from the surface. Allow the spray color or finish to dry as stated on the included directions.
Spray a second coat of color or finish if needed and allow the fixture to dry for one to two hours, or as directed on the can.
Connect all the wiring and reinstall the updated fixture. Turn the power back on from the fuse main electrical panel.