How to Paint Brass Hinges

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Newspaper

  • Rags

  • Gloves

  • Mineral spirits

  • PCB etch

  • Oil-based spray primer

  • Oil-based spray paint


Open and close the hinges between each coat of primer and paint to help prevent them from sticking shut.

PCB etch is available at most painting and home-improvement stores.


Muriatic and nitric acid are generally used to etch steel. However, never use this for brass, as it will form dangerous and toxic fumes.

When metallic hinges become old and dingy, many people choose to liven them up with a fresh coat of paint. Most of the time, this can be accomplished with a quick coat of spray primer and paint. However, if you're planning to paint brass hinges, there are a few things you need to know before you get started. Unlike most metallic surfaces, brass requires a specific preparation process to avoid peeling and flaking. Many amateur do-it-yourselfers are surprised to learn that the wrong approach to preparing brass for paint can result in disappointing and even dangerous results.


Step 1

Use a screwdriver to remove the brass hinges.

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Step 2

Spread out newspapers on either the floor or a table.

Step 3

Place the brass hinges on the newspapers. Use mineral spirits to clean the brass hinges thoroughly. Allow about ten minutes for the mineral spirits to evaporate completely before proceeding.


Step 4

Use PCB etch to rough up the brass hinges to promote adhesion. Follow the application instructions that came with the particular type of PCB etch you purchased.

Step 5

Rinse the brass hinges thoroughly with water.


Step 6

Apply a light coat of oil-based spray primer to the brass hinges. Allow an hour for the brass hinges to dry.

Step 7

Flip the brass hinges over and apply a light coat of oil-based spray primer to the second side. Allow an hour for the brass hinges to dry.


Step 8

Repeat steps 6 and 7, except use oil-based spray paint instead of primer.

Step 9

Allow an hour for the brass hinges to dry. Add another coat if necessary.