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topic 16258

How do I paint a Cast Iron and Brass Bed?



2002

Q. I have an old brass plated day bed that I would like to paint black to look like iron. What do I need to buy to achieve that look? I want to make sure that the paint doesn't eventually peel.

Thanks,

Mary C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Old Bridge, New Jersey


2002

Q. I am also needing advise on painting brass have found any answers yet? Thanks

Mary W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- ALAMEDA, California


affil. link
Latex Self-Etching Primer

2002

A. Hi, Mary. The short answer is that to get adhesion on brass you need to start with a self-etching primer.

We have dozens of Q&A about finishing brass beds on line if you want additional perspectives. Good luck!

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



2002

Q. I recently purchased a 1920's cast iron and brass bed. The piece has never been painted is in pretty good condition. I would like to paint the cast iron portions of the bed, but do not know the first thing about doing so, i.e., what type of paint (spray or brush on), satin, or eggshell, do I need to prime the areas to be painted, do I need to sand these areas and do I need to place a top coat over the painted surface. I really don't want to have it done professionally as the bed will need to be taped off from the other areas I don't want painted and I fear it will cost quite a bit to have painted.

Any input in this area would be helpful.

Thank you,

Misty M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Berkley, Michigan


2005

Q. I too have a cast iron bed that I want to paint. I'm trying to create a Shabby Chic look and have no idea what kind of paint to use, how to apply it or anything about it. If you've found an answer, please let me know. Thank you!

Nancy Briggs
- Anaheim, California


2004

A. I am in the process of restoring a couple of brass live steam models - if brass is painted or primed with conventional primers, the paint will eventually peel and flake because no matter how clean the brass looks when it has been degreased, the surface will oxidise within a few seconds. You will need to buy an etch primer specifically for copper and brass. This literally etches microscopically into the surface to prevent peeling. These primers come as single and 2 pack types and are not that widely available, but a quick 'brass etch primer' search should show up some suppliers.

Hope this helps.

Clive S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Horsham, West Sussex, England

-----
Ed. note: thanks Clive.


2005

A. Misty: if it's rusted the rust should be removed with Naval Jelly [affil. link to product info on Amazon]. Then you use any paint made for metal, such as Rustoleum. Spray paint, if applied in several thin coats, will be smoother and glossier than brushed on paint, but it's whichever works for you. Glossiness may be rated differently by different manufacturers or for different types of paint, but enamel is the highest gloss, followed in descending order by semi-gloss, eggshell, and satin.

Nancy: while your question is very welcome, most of our readers are industrial metal finishers who, like myself, lack decorating expertise; I can't even picture what shabby means :-)
But any paint made for metal should work fine in this relatively easy application. So if you want a fancy paint, or a mix of paints, it should be okay.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2005

A. Years ago I acquired a cast iron bed which had been outdoors for years. I attempted to sand it myself but after hours of sanding I thought I was making progress, but I wasn't!

I began a search and found that it could be powdercoated. I spoke to the owner of a powdercoat business and he suggested that I have it sandblasted prior to any powdercoating.

I had a local business do the sandblasting (under $100) and was amazed when I picked up my bed last week. Instead of being black like it was when I was doing the sanding it was a silver-grey color, it looked great. I thought about keeping it as it was but was told that it would just rust again.

I haven't decided to have the powdercoat done or if I should just spray paint it myself. Powdercoating could be costly but I think would last longer and look wonderful.

Either way I can't wait to set this bed up!

DC Grammer
- Colorado Springs, Colorado



2006

Q. I have a brass bed with a shiny lacquered finish. I would like to update the look by painting to have a nickel look finish. Can anyone provide instructions for painting over this surface?

Debra D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
homeowner - Needham, Massachusetts


affil. link
The best quality steel wool available for furniture makers, finishers and craftsmen! Creates a consistent scratch pattern to give your projects a beautiful reflection and sheen. Available in three grades: 0000, 00 and 0.
Liberon Steel Wool
rocklerSteelWool

April 29, 2009

A. Hi, Debra. You need to get that shiny finish off. Hopefully, lacquer thinner [affil. link to product info on Amazon] applied with 0000 steel wool [affil. link to Rockler] will achieve that. If not, you would need to use methylene chloride based Aircraft Stripper, which is really noxious stuff and should only be used outside and with proper protective equipment. Then you proceed with self-etching primer as described above. Best of luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


January 3, 2009

A. You can powder coat any type of metals...This is great for that patio furniture that seems to not stay black. It isn't unreasonably expensive either. I was debating doing the same to my old iron bed but I think for the time, I have decided against it. The powder coating is semi-permanent but will look great and last forever. I wanted to shabby chic mine too in an odd color and that is why I am searching the web to find someone that may have done theirs in a red with a shabby chic black coming through. Please send me pics if you have seen any like that, otherwise I will probably do white again with the old iron coloring coming through.
One way of shabby chic-ing your bed is to start by sanding down really well or having it sandblasted (preferred)and then initially spray paint it in a satin to eggshell finish in the color you want peeking through at the end of the project. Give it at least 3 smooth completely covered coats letting each dry completely. After all coats are COMPLETELY dry, brush on the top color in a satin. The brush strokes will let the original color show through and this is good...adds character. Once completely dry, sand it down until you get a finish that shows the first color through to your liking. If it doesn't look right then paint again and re-sand until it looks like you want it to. Once you are done you can spray it down a final time with a clear finish to your liking. If you want it glossy, finish it with a clear gloss.

Emily Rowland
- McKinney, Texas


May 31, 2009

Q. I have a small iron figurine of a mermaid and would like to paint it. I don't have any idea of how to, first of all, prepare it for painting and/or what kind of paint to use. Can I use acrylic paints? Should I use oil paints. I'm an artist and have both at my disposal. Or should I be using something like Rustoleum? The figurine will more than likely be used indoors, but not necessarily. I'm looking forward to doing this project and any help will be greatly appreciated.

Christine Lambot
Just an artist looking for help - Spencer, Massachusetts


November 21, 2009

A. As far as painting your mermaid, if you want a finish that will last. Start with Dupont 25p primer, and coat with Imron. if you can get the new industrial strength you will be very happy. the 25p is the best primer we have ever used. follow the mixing instructions. Paint it within 24 hours or you will have to sand so your top coat will adhere. When applying the Imron your may roll brush or spray. Using this as your base coat you can apply almost any paint on top of it.Automotive, house of color, alsa etc. You can also clearcoat it after. If you are careful with the thinning you may also airbrush with it. Clean as soon as you are finished. This combination of the two products we used on a mermaid in a water park and has stood up to the elements of the California sun, heat and the water. As well as kids climbing on it. If you start with this type of primer and a good top coat you can do anything you want.

Dave Henderson
- California


July 27, 2009

Q. I recently purchased a 2002 cast iron.
The piece has never been painted is in pretty good condition. I would like to paint the cast iron portions of the bed, but do not know the first thing about doing so, i.e., what type of paint (spray or brush on), satin, or eggshell, do I need to prime the areas to be painted, do I need to sand these areas and do I need to place a top coat over the painted surface. I really don't want to have it done professionally as the bed will need to be taped off from the other areas I don't want painted and I fear it will cost quite a bit to have painted.

Any input in this area would be helpful.

Thank you,

zulkifli poon
- Malaysia


April 16, 2010

Q. I have a wrought iron canopy bed that I would like to paint to look like brass to match with my wall lamps. I think brass looks more romantic than black wrought iron.

Catherine Morrison
decorator - Moreno Valley, California


April 16, 2010

A. Hi, Catherine. Your wall lamps are probably electroplated brass rather than brass colored paint. You won't be able to electroplate your bed, but the brass paint is readily available in spray cans and you can see what you think.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


October 31, 2010

Q. Great information here -

I have an of old cast iron cake stand with a tilt (great for decorating). It has a bit of rust, scratches that need to be cleaned up.

From reading here I summarize that I should remove the rust, and perhaps lightly spray paint a few coasts to ensure good shine (My cakes will go on display).

Just wondering if this is a good method as the plan is the cakes will be eaten...will I get any residue tastes?

Thanks for the help!

thaitj
- Bangkok, Thailand


October 31, 2010

A. Hi, Thaitj

I don't think it would be a good idea to place a cake directly on painted cast iron. If the cake could sit on wax paper, aluminum foil, or cardboard, it should be fine. But if the cake must sit directly on the cast iron, I think you should wipe the rust way with olive oil or mineral oil, and periodically re-oil it to deter further rusting.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


April 24, 2010

Q. Let me add to the iron bed issue. I have a white iron and brass bed that is about 35 years old. The white iron has stood up fairly well but the brass hasn't. Is there a way to refinish the brass? I think I can remove them from the bed. I can send photos if that would be helpful. Thank you!

Theresa Doran-Lunny
- Scituate, Massachusetts


April 3, 2017

Q. I have a brass bed that was in storage for about four years. It has pock marks on it and wondered it it can be re finished, or made to look like new again?

Carolyn Norulak
- Whiting, New Jersey


April 2017

A. Hi Carolyn. The first question is whether it is made of solid brass or it's brass plated steel. A magnet will answer that question. If it's plated (magnetic), I think you're on the right track wanting to paint it rather than re-plate it. Re-plating is theoretically possible, but finding a plating shop that does brass plating, and has a big enough tank, and serves the public rather than industrial accounts will be tough, and it would cost a small fortune. If it's solid brass, I would not paint it; it would seem worthwhile restoring the brass by polishing.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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