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Refinishing Bathroom Faucets


Q. I would like to know if I could change my shiny brass bathroom fixtures to a bronze finish by spray painting them or using some kind of chemical to change the finish. Can I apply some kind of stripping chemical to strip off the brass and reveal the metal or is there another procedure?

Keisha Bergeron
- Lafayette, Louisiana


Q. Did you find an answer to this question? I am wanting to refinish my current bathroom hardware from "shiny chrome" to antiqued copper. I've been wondering if spray paint for metal would work?

Tabitha Davis
- Cocoa Beach, Florida


A. Hi Keisha; hi Tabitha.

If the fixtures are solid brass (which many are) it should be possible to sand off the finish and get down to the substrate. With good polishing and buffing, this might leave an attractive dull brass color in place of the overly shiny bright brass or chrome look. But paint does not stick real well to brass even when you use a good Self-Etching Primer [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] (and it doesn't stick at all without it), and this is a very high wear application, so paint doesn't really sound very promising.

The ideal answer would be to send the faucets to a plating shop for real plating in the tone you prefer. But because of the issue of labor cost on onesy-twosy stuff, this is not cheap -- it probably costs as much or a little more than new mid-range faucets; sorry. If you do decide on paint, please let us know how it goes since many people ask, and there are many supposed "instruction pages", but we aren't able to relate many1 actual successes yet :-(


Ted Mooney   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

1. Kellie J from Spring Hill, TN reported using Rustoleum brown hammered paint on her bathroom faucets.

Self-etching primer



Thank you.

Manufacturer brass hardware. - Moradabad, Up, India


RFQ: I have 5 sets of faucets that need to be replating in brass. Can send two sets at a time. each set has 3 pieces. Need price and time it will take.


Spike M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Bathroom Faucets - L.A., California, U.S.A.


RFQ: I bought my house almost 20 years ago and I have all Moen fixtures. The bathroom faucet are single handle, bronze, with an antique finish (lacquer + polyurethane over polished bronze). I would like to know if there is a company that can refinish these faucets since the finish is coming off, but the faucets work perfectly. I called Moen but they indicated that the warranty prior to 1996 was just 1 year.

Carlos M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Home refinishing - Bathroom fixtures - Houston, Texas, USA

March 20, 2008

RFQ: I have polished brass fixtures that the brass has spotted or actually worn off and would like the brass redone and protective coated to stay beautiful if it less expensive to have them redone than just buy new fixtures?

Priscilla B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
homeowner - Steilacoom, WA, United States

August 1, 2008

RFQ: I have two bathroom faucets that need to be plated oil rubbed bronze with a hint of copper coloring.

Alice B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Homeowner - Nashville, Tennessee, USA

June 5, 2009

RFQ: I want my brass bathroom faucet replated to brushed nickel.

Robyn C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
homeowner - Marietta, Georgia, USA

May 14, 2009 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. What paint can I use to repair rusting chrome bath handles? I have seen car chrome sprays written about that have excellent finishes but can't find any that are sold in UK. Would model type paints work? I'm not expecting it to look flawless.

Jacqui Wall
DIY - Essex, England

May 15, 2009

A. Hi, Jacqui. You can try a self-etch primer, followed by a chrome toned paint like Plastikote Bumper Chrome Paint [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. Please advise if you enjoy any success.


Ted Mooney,   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

"Chrome" colored bumper paint


Q. I have high end brass and chrome bath faucets/spouts. The brass is gold plated and wearing thin. Can they be refinished. How about PVD finishing and by whom?

CJ Schatz
- LA, California


A. You mentioned that these are "high end". You may already know it, but replating can cost more than "low end" replacements because the labor involved in plating individual items is very different than the labor involved when hundreds of faucet sets at a time are plated by an OEM. It is certainly possible to PVD some gold colored titanium nitride either onto nickel plating or onto real gold plating for wear resistance, but I don't know of any shops in the titanium nitride business who do the process for consumers.

Ted Mooney,   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 23, 2010 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi, I am purchasing a house with a double sink. The faucets are gold toned, but I prefer satin silver or other silver tone. Can I remove these and have them refinished, without spending more than two new faucets would cost?

Jenna Walker
- Beverly, Massachusetts


A. Sorry, it's unlikely that the process will meet that price point, Jenna.

Ted Mooney,   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 26, 2008

Q. Regarding rub n buff product. Can I use this to tone down a bright brass bathroom faucet. I've used this product before on headboards, lamps, frames, but nothing that I have to touch frequently like faucets. will this product work on faucets. Thank you

- Pompano Beach, Florida, USA

November 26, 2011

Q. I have an oil rubbed bronze waterfall faucet that I used a calcium deposit removal cleaner on (the faucet lip and aerator parts). Even though I left the cleaner on only a minute or so, and thought I rinsed it well, I now have the finish coming off this faucet.

I want to paint (by brush not spray) this area of the faucet and plan to make it looked antiqued in a copper color finish. What kind of primer do I need, and would a product like Rub N' Buff work on top of whatever primer you suggest. Open to all suggestions! Thanks.

D Porter
handyman - Asheville, North Carolina

Rub 'n Buff Sampler

January 4, 2015

Q. We have a spa-type bathtub with jets. All are brass-colored. We are remodeling the bathroom and wish to use brushed nickel. We have not been able to locate the name of the brand used in the fixtures. Can you give me some possible ideas on who may have made these, whether they can be replaced, and the cost of replating to a brushed nickel? The house is approximately 25 years old. Thank you.

Jane Sibley
- Sioux City, Iowa USA

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