Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brass to Old Paint Layered Wood

Today I'm gonna tell ya how I got brass light fixtures to look like this:

I think I've mentioned before that I do a lot of work for a very talented designer.  Well, she likes to give me fun little projects (I mean that seriously, not sarcastically) (well, okay, maybe a little sarcastically, but in a fun sarcastic way) (really!).  So the other day she says she has a project for me.  She brings me these (not exactly the prettiest things in the world which I guess would explain why she's bringing them to me, duh!):
And here's the kicker, she wants me to match the trim on this gorgeous mirror!

Here's a close-up of the trim:

So, after I promise her I'll make the ugly brass look like this (sometimes I just wonder at what comes out my mouth...) I put my thinking cap on and this is what I came up with:
First I spray painted them with plain ol' brown spray paint.
Then I mixed up some home-made brown chalk paint:
And I slapped on a very messy coat:
I repeated that process with a couple of different colors of white:
Every once in a while I'd throw in some gold and gray placed randomly:
I repeated all of the layers of chalk paint MANY times, really, I have no idea how many layers I applied, I just did it until I achieved this:
Then I started sanding, using different grades of sandpaper:
Once I got the look I was kinda going after I applied dark wax.  First I used some Annie Sloan dark wax, getting it into all the nooks and crannies and little grooves I created with the sandpaper.  Then I used some steel wool and more sandpaper and kind of sanded bits of it off.  Then I applied some Bri wax in light brown.  Sometimes I would even go back and apply some more chalk paint, really building up the layers until I finally got it to look like this:

Here are lots more close-ups, once again I apologize for posting so many photos, but each area looks differently and it is the only way I know how to show you what the finish really looks like:

Well that's how I made brass look like old multi-layered painted wood.  If you hadn't seen them in the beginning would you have known they were originally brass???  (Okay I'm really hoping your answer to that question is no!) 


  1. They look great Debbie and thanks for sharing how you did this.


  2. Hi Debbie!!


    I would not have known they were brass. Way to go girlfriend!!! You worked very hard and the results are amazing!!

    I love how they look!!
    Have a great week!!

    1. lol! Thanks girl! and thanks for making me smile!