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topic 39490

How to paint or "touch up" fake brass faucets?


Q. PLEASE HELP ME! When we built our house we took the builders option to upgrade the faucets and taps in our bathrooms to "brass'. Unfortunately the fixtures were not brass but a metal with a brass colored coating. The coating has flaked in some areas --the damaged spots are not large but large enough to detract from the decor.Changing to chrome fixtures is not an option because the trim around the showers and the towel racks are brass colored.
At this time we are hoping to avoid the expense of replacement and stretch the life of the originals for another couple of years. We have many other repairs that need to be made and being recently retired we are operating on a strict budget
Any help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you in anticipation

Jane S Taggart
homemaker - Berwyn, Pennsylvania, USA


A. Sounds to me that they are not brass fixtures at all,they are only brass plated,that is what you are seeing flaking off, underneath I am guessing it is probably a dull or bright color,more than likely Ni(nickel) plated. My suggestion would be if you know anyone in the plating business,is to have them replated,it sounds like the original manufacturer did an inferior job on them,it also maybe a good idea to have them clear lacquered or clear coated after they have been replated. Or another option would be to buy a can of clear coat(sold at most stores in the paint section) and put a coat over them yourself,this will keep it from peeling any further,but I don't believe there is any real "quick fix" to your problem,sorry.

Best Regards

Brian C. Gaylets
- Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

May 19, 2008

Q. I have some ugly gold-colored bathroom fixtures and would like to darken the color. The paint guy said I could lightly sand the metal and paint with metal paint. My husband says no way. Can I paint metal fixtures?

Kathy Battalora
- Dallas, Texas

February 12, 2013

Q. Expensive "brass" fittings in bathroom are looking sad... Started with bathroom foam cleaner removing some brass finish (must have been very caustic) - now brass tap surround, tub spout have gone a copper colour in places ...
Small problem on some parts - handle made of porcelain ..

What is happening to the finish here, and can get these parts be returned to a brassed colour?
Any firms around that do this?

Bryan Allen
Mum wants BRASS taps !!! :-) - Newmarket, Ontario, Canada

February 13, 2013

A. Hi Bryan. Expensive is relative, but expensive taps should be solid brass. If so, it's possible that the aggressive cleaner you used simply dissolved some the zinc out of the brass (which is an alloy of copper and zinc), leaving it raw and copper colored -- it's not uncommon. If this is the case, patient application of brass polish such as Brasso, perhaps with a little buffing wheel in a Dremel or battery operated drill, should restore it.

Good luck.


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

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