Can You Paint Brass? (Which Paint Should You Use)

Painting brass can be a great way to update the look of your room or outdoor area. Whether you are looking to give your outdoor furniture a fresh coat of paint or want to give your living room a more modern look, painting brass can be a great way to do it. I’ve painted my brass chairs before and they came out looking good as new!

Yes, brass can be painted. You will need to clean the brass with alcohol, apply a primer, sand down the primer, and then use proper paint to paint the bass. You can use enamel paint, acrylic paint, or oil-based paint to paint brass.

There are several types of paint that you can use to paint brass, so it is important to choose the right one for your project. I’m here to provide you with information on the best paint to use when painting brass. 

Can Brass Be Painted?

Yes, brass can be painted. You should apply a primer to the brass before painting it. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface. You should use paint specifically made for metal surfaces for a long-lasting paint job. 

You need to clean the brass thoroughly to remove any dirt or grime. You can do this using a simple solution of soap and water. Let it dry and then apply a metal primer. This will help the paint adhere to the brass better, and will also help to reduce the chances of any rust forming. 

Then use a brush or roller to apply the paint. Once the paint is dry, you’re done. It is important to touch up the paint when it begins to show signs of wear. 

What Type of Paint Can Be Used on Brass?

One of the most popular paint types is enamel. It produces a glossy finish that is resistant to chipping, fading, and rusting.

Enamel Paint
Enamel Paint

If you want to give your brass a unique finish, try using acrylic paint. It can be used to create a range of textures and effects. For a more traditional look, use oil-based paint. This type of paint is known for its rich color, and it is also highly resistant to fading and chipping. 

I like to use Rust-Oleum paints, which are available in both enamel and acrylic. They offer a great selection of colors, and their paints are easy to apply. For oil-based paints, I recommend using Benjamin Moore products. They have a wide selection of colors and finishes.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, try using spray paint specifically designed for brass. Krylon and Rust-Oleum both make excellent brass-specific sprays that come in a range of colors and finishes.

How To Paint Brass Properly

Tools and materials needed to paint brass properly include a brass brush, a pair of gloves, a face mask, a pair of safety goggles, primer, paint, a paintbrush, a paint roller, and a foam brush. 

You may also need sandpaper, a putty knife, a wire brush, and a damp cloth. It is important to have a well-ventilated area for proper ventilation during the painting process.

Step 1: Clean Brass With Alcohol

To start, you should clean the surface with mild alcohol. This will remove any dirt, dust, or oil from the surface. Use a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol to lightly wipe the brass surface. This will help the paint adhere better and will result in a smoother, more even finish. 

If the brass piece is really dirty, you may need to use a slightly abrasive cleaner such as a brass cleaner. Make sure to wear gloves and a face mask while doing so. Once the brass is clean, rinse it with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. 

You should use a brass polish if the brass is very old. Try to use a soft cloth to gently polish the brass. Once you finish polishing, rinse the brass with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. Use a clean cloth to check the brass for any remaining dirt or grime.

Step 2: Apply Primer

Start priming the brass surface by sanding it lightly with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper. This will help the primer adhere better to the brass. Once the surface is smooth, you can use a brush to apply a primer suitable for metal surfaces. Make sure to apply the primer in thin layers. 

If you are using a spray primer, hold the can around a foot away from the brass and spray in sweeping motions. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding. 

If you are using an oil-based primer, it is best to use a brush or roller to apply the primer. Make sure to apply the primer in thin, even layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next.

Step 3: Sand the Primer 

Sanding the primer is an important step when painting brass. It will help ensure smooth and even finishes by smoothing out any bumps or imperfections. This reduces the chances of the paint not adhering properly. This will also help to ensure that the paint has a longer-lasting finish.

When sanding the primer, it is important to use the correct grade of sandpaper. Generally, you should use 150-grit sandpaper for this task. It is important to sand the primer gently and evenly. Don’t apply too much pressure because it may cause the primer to chip off. After sanding, you should wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust particles. 

Step 4: Paint the Brass

Paint two coats of oil-based enamel paint. It is important to use oil-based paint because it provides a durable finish that will resist fading, scratching, and chipping.

You should start by applying the first coat of paint in long, even strokes. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying the second coat. Once the second coat is dry, you can use a clear sealant to help protect the finish. 

Try to be sure you use a paintbrush that is specifically designed for use with oil-based paints. This will help you paint a larger area quickly. Also, try to be sure to use good quality paint that is rated for outdoor use. This will help prolong the life of the paint and ensure a beautiful, long-lasting finish.

Tips For Painting Brass 

Here are some tips for painting brass: 

1. Thoroughly clean the brass with soap and water to remove dirt and oils

2. Sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface and remove any lacquer or glaze. 

3. Apply a primer to the brass, which will help the paint adhere better. 

4. Use a high-quality paint meant for metal surfaces, such as an oil-based enamel. 

5. Apply several thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next. 

6. For a glossy finish, apply a clear topcoat.

Use Heat Resistant Paint if Painting Brass Near a Fire

Heat-resistant paint is a special type of paint designed to withstand high temperatures without being damaged or discolored. It is specifically designed to be used on surfaces that are exposed to heat, such as those near a fire.

Heat-resistant paint is usually made with a combination of ceramic, silicone, and other high-temperature-resistant materials. It is available in a variety of colors to suit any décor. 

When painting brass near a fire, you should try to choose heat-resistant paint. This will ensure that the paint will not discolor or peel off when exposed to heat. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using heat-resistant paint, as an improper application can reduce its effectiveness.

Use Spray-on Paint For Easier Application

Spray-on paint is a great option for those looking for an easy and efficient way to paint. This type of paint is sprayed out of an aerosol can, allowing you to quickly cover large surfaces with an even and uniform coat. 

Spray-on paint is also much easier to control which allows you to easily cover small and intricate areas. As a result, it is often the preferred choice for detailed painting projects. 

If you want the best results you should use a primer with spray-on paint to help the color adhere to the surface and improve the durability of the paint job. It is also important to use a respirator mask when applying spray-on paint to protect yourself from the fumes.


The most important thing to remember is to thoroughly clean the brass before painting. This will help the paint to adhere better to the surface. Once the brass is clean and dry, an appropriate primer should be applied. 

After the primer has dried, use a brush to apply a coat of metal paint. You should allow the paint to completely dry. With proper preparation and care, you will be able to paint brass with great results.

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