Monday, October 8, 2012

Kiss That Brass Goodbye

We have lived in our 1907 built home for almost 7 years. I love the character of old homes, but also loved the fact that the previous owners of our home made many modern updates to the house. Although we love most of the updates that were previously made, the one thing that I have despised since the day we moved in was the use of brass in many of the rooms. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking all brass (I actually really love vintage, tarnished style brass) but what I do not love is shiny 80's style brass. And let me tell you, pretty much every room in our house, with the exception of the bedrooms, has some touch of 80's shiny brass. I'm talking light fixtures, cabinet hardware, pot lights, and my nemesis, the large brass fireplace surround!

I have taken on the mission of "de-brassing" this house long ago, and I've actually made a great amount of progress. I have replaced every brass light fixture in the house, but now it was time to figure out what to do with the fireplace. My first thought was to just replace the fireplace surround with a new one...until I started researching prices and found that the average cost was around three hundred dollars! Umm, that really wasn't in the budget. So on a whim, I searched Pinterest to see if I could find other ideas. Of course, my favorite site pulled through for me! I was able to spray paint my existing surround for next to nothing!

For this project, you will need painter's tape, painting paper (or newspaper), 220 grit sand paper, and HIGH HEAT spray paint

Start this project by taping off the glass doors of the surround using your paper and painter's tape. Keep in mind that you will need to cover both the front and back sides of the glass doors to prevent painting the glass.

Once you have taped off your doors, lightly sand the brass with your sandpaper. Be careful not to sand to hard, you DO NOT want to scratch the surface of the surround. Once you have finished sanding, wipe the surround with a damp cloth to remove and dust. Then, you are ready for the fun part...

Prop your surround up on wood planks or anything else you have handy to keep it from touching the ground and get spraying! I used high heat spray paint in black matte to match my gas fireplace insert, but you can find high heat paint in many different colors and finishes. It took me one full can and about a quarter of another to complete the project. The great thing about this paint is that it dries quickly. You only need to wait about a half hour between coats of paint. It took me 3 total coats of paint to finish the project. That evening, after I was sure the surround was 100% dry, I had my husband screw it back into place.

For about twenty five dollars and an afternoon of time, I was able to "de-brass" my living room! I love it!!

So, are you with me on my hatred of 80's brass, or are you a fan? Let us know in the comments!

Sharing with the DIY Showoff! and Cottage and Vine


  1. Replies
    1. MUCH better! I bet you are loving the change!

    2. Thanks so much for the compliments! I am loving the new look of the fireplace! I even think the new black surround has helped me to like the color of the brick more than I did in the past! :)

  2. My house was built in 2005, and you would think that it wouldn't have been done in brass being that brass hasn't been cool for oh, 15 years.... but unfortunately it was :( We swapped out all the hardware, spraypainted some of the light fixtures replaced others, and now the only two things left are all the door hinges in the house, and a little trim on the fireplace. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Our brass was added to the house by the previous owners in 2005 too! Maybe brass had a surge in popularity that year! LOL Thanks for reading! :)

  3. Oh I'm so glad you took this chance! Such a nice, low cost update. Can't beat that! Thanks so much for joining "The After Party"!


    1. Thanks Rene! So excited to finally have a blog and projects to participate in your "After Party!" I have been a long time reader of your blog and I LOVE IT! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. Looks great! Makes me wish I would have hung on to my old brass fireplace screen and given it a once over with paint!
    Cathy @ Room Rx