How to Spray Paint Brass Surfaces

Lead Image
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Paint thinner
Paint sprayer
Drop cloths
Eye protection
Adequate ventilation
Brass cleaner
Soap and warm water
Clean cloths

Spray painting brass may seem difficult, but actually it is quite easy when you use some of the tips below.

However, before you start applying paint, you first you will need to check if your object is actually made of brass. Some manufacturers paint steel objects with a brass color, so you would have a brass-plated item, not a brass item.

Do a magnet test and see if the object is attracted to the metal. If the object does attract the magnet, then you have a steel object. If the magnet is not attracted, then you have a genuine brass object. Keep in mind that white metal with painted on brass will yield the same non-magnetic result. To be sure, you can scratch the item with a hard, sharp surface (in an inconspicuous place, of course) to see if the scratch reveals a silver or white underneath the surface, which would indicate you do not have a fully brass item.

Once you're certain you're dealing with a genuine brass object, the following steps will guide you to the perfect spray paint job.

Step 1 — Remove the Lacquer

These days, brass objects are coated with lacquer to prevent the brass from tarnishing. Use a brush and apply thinner over the surface. Then rinse it off thoroughly.

Step 2 — Clean the Surface

Next, clean the brass object with soap and water to get rid of the lacquer and all the dirt and debris on your brass object. When you spray paint anything, you want your surface to be clean.

Step 3 Let the Object Dry

Do not ever spray paint a wet object. The moisture left on the surface will ruin the paint you are trying to apply.

To dry the surface, cover the object with a clean cloth to soak the moisture. Alternatively, you can leave your object outdoors if it’s warm, or you can put it near a heater.

Step 4 — Apply Protective Tape (As Needed)

Adhesive tape will protect the surfaces that you don't want to get any paint on. If you want to paint the entire object, skip this step.

Step 5 — Apply a Primer

Primers smooth the surface, and a smoother surface will result in a much better-looking finish. The finish will also be more durable.

When you are done applying the primer, let it dry before you apply the paint. Use a primer specifically made for brass surfaces.

Step 6 — Add a Basecoat

The base coat is a light layer of spray paint. That is important because, along with the primer, it will give your surface a more beautiful finish. The basecoat should be light. In fact, your base coat should be so light that you can still see the primer underneath.

Let the base coat dry.

Step 7 — Apply the Second Coat

Apply the spray paint in a horizontal position, not in a random motion. Be sure not to apply too much or too little paint. If you can still see the base coat, you haven't used enough paint. If you hold the object vertically and paint starts dripping, you've applied too much paint.

Let the object dry after you are done.

Bonus Tips

Obviously there are limits on what objects you can spray paint. If you are trying to spray paint a brass bed, it would be suitable to give the work to an auto body shop.

If you are spray painting brass that is connected to an electrical appliance, such as a light fixture, you have to be really careful.

Caution: Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when you are spray painting.