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Changing chrome to oil rubbed bronze

January 8, 2009

We have a fairly new bathroom with chrome fixtures. I would like to change them all to an oil rubbed bronze look. We have 2 light fixtures, two sinks, a shower set and a tub set. Is there a way to do this? I have seen a lot of paints available, but think that this is not the way to go.

Travis Chillemi
hobbyist - Castle Rock, CO, USA

January 16, 2009

Hi, Travis. Anything can be done, but some things aren't very practical. Paint might hold up on the light fixtures, but is more dubious on the towel racks, and will prove almost hopeless on the faucet sets. Stripping and re-plating these items is a labor-intensive manual process at domestic labor rates, whereas new items are manufactured thousands at a time on automated machinery at Asian labor rates. So sending them to a plating shop for replating will usually exceed the cost of replacements and is generally restricted to heirlooms, exceptionally expensive items, or components with special dimensions that can't be obtained today.

I am not encouraging you to landfill your stuff and import replacements from China, but I don't want you to waste your time and plating shops' time without understanding that there is probably no money to be saved in replating your existing fixtures.


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

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