This easy DIY tutorial on how to spray paint bathroom fixtures is the perfect way to upgrade your shower hardware without worrying about annoying plumbing issues.
Sometimes I take spontaneity in marriage a little too far. When Robert comes home from work every day, he never knows what he’s about to walk into.
One day I might greet him at the door grinning ear to ear, excited to show him our newly painted bathroom cabinets.
And then every now and then, he might find me falling to pieces on the floor, borderline sobbing as I try to rescue myself from some fiasco I’ve created. (Dear dining room chairs, I may never strip varnish again for as long as I live.)
Nowadays, no matter what spontaneous whim I surprise him with, he’s ready to jump up and down in celebration too or willing to drive to the nearest grocery store for a comforting pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream.
Thankfully, this time around, it was the jumping-up-and-down-grinning-ear-to-ear kind.
Our hallway bathroom makeover is officially finished and you’ll be seeing the full reveal this week!
But the finishing touch was spray painting the shower fixtures. They turned out beautifully! And I didn’t have to bust out the plumbing tools to do it. (Like I’d actually now how to do that. Baha!)
Turns out, I wouldn’t have been able to remove the faucets without hiring a professional plumber anyway because this particular shower has no access panel, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that myself.
How to Spray Paint Faucets and Shower Fixtures
- Coarse grit sandpaper
- Painter’s tape (I like this kind the best.)
- Plastic drop cloth
- Automobile spray primer (I’m a Rustoleum fan all the way.)
- Rustoleum Universal Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint (I use this stuff on everything.)
- High gloss lacquer spray
- Respirator mask
- Safety glasses
- Razor blade or utility knife
Total cost: Approximately $35 for nonreusable materials
I did plenty of research beforehand for how to go about spray painting our fixtures to make them durable and after reading up on this tutorial from eHow and this durability post from DIY ShowOff, I thought I’d give it a go.
Here’s what we were working with before:
There was nothing wrong with them at all, but since we installed our pretty bronze faucet, the chrome had to go. And I was not about to spend a couple hundred dollars for a simple color change.
We didn’t use this shower for at least 48 hours to be sure there would be no moisture to cause any problems.
1. I taped off all of the fixtures first (and it’s not easy taping in a circle). I realized I probably should have sanded the fixtures first, but I got a little eager here.
2. I gave all of the chrome a thorough sanding with the coarse grit paper and wiped away any residual dust.
3. Then, I turned our bathroom into a total crime scene / quarantine zone.
4. I learned my lesson from spray painting our shower door in our primary bathroom and was extra careful this time around to make sure every piece of plastic drop cloth was completely taped down.
(This is the part where Robert came home and walked in with that sly “what are you up to” look in his eye. Truly, he loves this stuff as much as I do.)
5. I gave the fixtures two light coats of the automobile primer after all of the sanding, taping, and dropclothing (totally a word).
6. I made sure to keep the spray can about a foot away from the fixtures and kept my hand moving in a sweeping motion to avoid any splotches or drips.
I like to err on the side of caution with several light coats as opposed to one or two heavy coats to keep the finish even and smooth.
7. About an hour later, once the primer was dry, I gave everything three light coats of the oil rubbed bronze spray paint, followed by two coats of the high gloss lacquer.
The whole project required a lot of waiting time as each coat dried, but it was worth it.
8. Before peeling up ANY tape, I scored all of the edges with a razor blade. (Another hard lesson from painting our shower doors. Live and learn.)
9. After the tape was scored away from the fixtures, I peeled it up very slowly so none of the paint would come with it. I’m so happy with how it all turned out!
10. After the paint has cured for a full 24 hours, give the whole tub a scrub down to get rid of any of that spray paint dust.
I changed out the shower curtain rod to match too. I’m sure I’ll follow up down the road to show how these fixtures are holding up one day.
UPDATE: It has been SIX years since I spray painted these shower fixtures! We moved out of this house a year and a half later, and the finish looked just as perfect as the day I painted them. The new homeowners have reported to me that they’re still holding up very well. As long as you don’t scrub the painted surface with anything abrasive, they should last for a while!
UPDATE UPDATE: We loved how these spray painted fixtures turned out so well that we used this method again on shower fixtures and a tub faucet in this budget-friendly DIY bathroom makeover a couple of years later.
And uh…ahem. Do you see a little glimpse of those rustic shelves there? Eep! I promise I’ll stop teasing y’all.
Robert and I are having a celebratory booty shaking, Ben & Jerry-eating dance party about it over here. And I pinky promise a break from the home improvement surprises for a while…meaning like a week.
Have you ever spray painted bathroom fixtures before? Or surprised your spouse with an amazing home improvement project? …Or one gone wrong? Whoops.
Frequently Asked Questions
After using this method, the bathroom fixtures have lasted for six years and are still going strong! Just don’t clean the painted surface with anything abrasive. Hard water could possibly affect its durability.
Lately Krylon Short Cuts spray paint in Gold Leaf has been my favorite to look the closest to real modern brushed brass.
Of course! You don’t need a method nearly as intense as painting faucets. Just spray knobs, pulls, and light fixtures with spray primer, let dry, and spray 2-3 light coats of the color of your choice.
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