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Refinishing Bathroom Faucets / Fixtures



An ongoing discussion from 2002 through 2015 . . .

(2002)

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


(2004)

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 would 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. 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 not 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 we aren't able to relate many actual successes yet, although in letter 21894 Kellie J from Spring Hill, TN reported using Rustoleum brown hammered paint on her bathroom faucets.

Self-etching primer

Regards,

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



Can you re-finish a brass finish by 'dipping' it into a satin nickel finish?

(2004)

Q. I am trying to replace a bathroom tub faucet. It is brass and was custom made by the original home owners, so I cannot find any faucet to replace it unless I redid all of the plumbing. I have been able to replace all of the other fixtures with a satin nickel finish, and would like to have the same for the tub spout. Do you know of any place that will 'dip' this brass fixture into a satin nickel finish? or a spray paint or other 'do it yourself' method of changing the finish? I'd appreciate your help.

Trina Andrews
hobbyist - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA


(2004)

A. There is probably nothing you can do at home that will be fully satisfactory, Trina, but this item can certainly be satin nickel electroplated. Look in our Jobshops Directory or your yellow pages for a consumer friendly shop. Be aware, however, that cleaning, stripping, polishing, scratch brushing, plating, and post treating this fixture will take at least a couple of hours and that a plater can't work cheaper than a plumber or mechanic.

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



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.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
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. As an alternate to gold plating, it is possible to PVD some gold colored titanium nitride either onto nickel plating or onto real gold plating for wear resistance, but PVD is done with million-dollar machines and I don't know of any shops in the titanium nitride business who do the process for consumers.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
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, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
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.

PAULA MORGAN
- 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


September 2015

A. Hi. Rub 'n Buff is a wax based product per my understanding, so would be better used on metal than on top of paint or primer. Readers have not advised us of their success or lack of success in using it on bathroom fixtures. I'd be surprised if you found it satisfactory, but I really don't know.

Regards,

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



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



How to change coating on Polished Brass faucet to Brushed Nickel

September 2, 2015 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I cannot replace a Roman Tub Faucet because it is behind a wall. My wife wants to go to Brushed Nickel. I can take the spout off of the old 1990s polished brass faucet. Is there a way to remove the polished brass look and turn the faucet to a brushed nickel look?

Ed Grazulis
do it yourself plumbing repair - Palmer,Alaska
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^


September 3, 2015

Your faucet can be refinished, but it may prove difficult to get someone to take on the job. The problem is buildup of material inside the spout that can contaminate a plating bath or PVD chamber. We know this from experience. We did one refinishing job three years ago that required us to strip and re-coat the spout four times. We were just fortunate that it did not discolor other parts in the chamber.

treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
American Plating & PVD

Vista, California


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