How to Make Stainless Steel Look Like Copper or Bronze

Stainless steel is often the material of choice for appliances, knobs, fixtures and cabinetry and drawer hardware in your home. While the steel looks sleek and modern, it might not fit in with your design concept. You may want to change its appearance. Transforming your stainless steel item into a warm, worn-looking bronze or copper is a project you can complete over a long weekend with the help of spray primer and paint. Choose a paint and primer formulated especially for metal surfaces to ensure an even, uniform and permanent finish.

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Transform your stainless steel.

Step 1

Place dropcloths on the floor and over any furniture or item you wish you paint in a well-ventilated area like a garage or workshop. Move the stainless steel item you want to paint onto the dropcloths; remove any handles from the item and set aside. If the item you want to paint is not removable, cover the surrounding area with newspaper and painter's tape and place a dropcloth over counters and floors to protect the finish of the cabinet, appliance or drawer.

Step 2

Put on gloves, goggles and a mask to protect yourself from dust and fumes as you work. Clean the stainless steel with a rag and acetone; let the acetone evaporate and dry.

Step 3

Lightly sand the entire area of the stainless steel, including any handles, with a 400-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for a coat of primer. Wipe away excess dust with a damp rag.

Step 4

Cover the stainless steel in a coat of black spray primer. Use short, even strokes to get a uniform coat; allow the primer to dry completely. Sand down the primer to a smooth finish and apply a second coat of primer if any of the stainless steel shows through. Sand the second coat and wipe away excess dust.

Step 5

Apply a coat of spray paint in a copper or bronze color to the stainless steel, using light, even strokes of paint to achieve uniform coverage. Sand the finish smooth and apply a second coat of paint if the color is not to your satisfaction. Reattach the handle if necessary.