Good Brass vs. Bad Brass

Monday, August 17, 2009

There’s good brass and then there’s bad brass. Good brass has been making a bit of a comeback lately. For instance, "Cutie-Pie" Nate Berkus (as his BFF Oprah calls him….and really, we all know it’s true...sigh), used brass hooks on the kitchen cabinet doors in his New York apartment. (You have to look reeeaaaally close to see them, but I promise I’m telling the truth).


And if you look really, really close you can see that he also opted for brass door knobs and hinges.

Here's anothe example of good brass:



Source: Ebay

And then there’s bad brass….Ahhh, brings back memories doesn't it?

(I actually have this faucet in my powder bath)



Can you see the difference? In one word “patina”. Good brass is worn and has a unique, vintagey character. Bad brass is polished to the point that you can see your fluffy, shellacked bangs from the 1980’s in its reflection.

Still have bad brass in your house? No problem. If you can't replace it, just pull out the spray paint and give it an instant update, like I did to the light fixture in our powder bath.

BEFORE:


AFTER:

See? Easy peasy.

P.S. Thanks for all of your supportive comments about my new pillows. I definitely know who to turn to if I want permission to splurge :-).

23 Suburbanites Said:

Girl with the Curlz said...

First I love Nate. He is a cutie pie. Second the lights turned out great. Love how they look. Great job.

the7daggetts said...

You are so right! The bad stuff is that super shiny, fake brass that I have all over my house that the builder's felt like they just had to use for some reason or another. Ugh. We are slowly replacing it all, and hope to paint the brass ceiling fans this fall. Your light looks so much better. Love it!

Emily said...

We just bought our first home and I was JUST telling my mom and my aunt how after all of the painting is done, that is the very next thing on my list! Bad brass is SiCk!!! Your lights turned out very well!

Laura said...

What a great post-
I have all kinds of brass-
I had not thought about spray painting my light fixture.
Great idea!

Laura

imjacobsmom said...

Ugh! I had flashbacks from that god awful shiny brass. I sure hope that never makes a return. I like your idea to spray paint your light - it turned out beautifully. ~ Robyn

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Love Nate!!! :) I have an overload of bad brass in my house. It hurts my eyes. I really want to redo the pulls on my Kitchen cabintes...maybe that should be my first project. :)

Sophie said...

You're pretty handy with that spray paint. Your light turned out great.

My mom loves bad brass :O(

Life on an artistic shoestring said...

Yes! I have brass in my house, and it's the good kind. I've been slowly replacing any of the builder's bad brass with that great patina of old brass. Nothing wrong with it, and I predict it will come back in real soon. So, I've got a headstart on it, and buying up the deals on Craigslist!

Catherine@Simply Natural said...

You've changed my mind about brass! I've always associated it with the 1980s shiny brass but I love the examples you've highlighted.

Lorri said...

Unfortunately I have the bad brass in my home. Is it possible to spray door knob and have the finish hold up to daily use? Thanks for the tutorials. They inspire me to make the best of whatever I can in my home.

Adam and Hayley Peterson said...

We just bought our first home, and while all of the knobs and faucets are brushed nickel, for some reason all of the light fixtures are ugly brass! And it was built in 2003, when brass was SO out of style! Luckily I'm married to an electrician how hates the brass too, so as we paint each room, he's switching out the light fixtures :)

Anonymous said...

What paint did you use for your light? It turned out great.

Anonymous said...

Your light fixture looks great! Did you have to prime the fixture before painting it or did you just opt for the new paint on top of the shiny brass? Oh, and what color paint did you use to get the "good brass" color?

Carrie said...

I had that same bad brass light fixture in the bathroom at my old house! I do have some bad brass here. The people who lived here before put in all shiny brass doorknobs and light switch covers.

countrymans said...

Yup, I couldn't agree more, the brass they lacquer is horrible, cheap looking, it's the brass or plated brass that gets that old, age patina that looks nice to my minds eye.

The Tiny Homestead said...

I love the way your light turned out. Can you share what paint you chose? I'm planning to spray a few of my "bad brass" items. Can't wait!

mtrafica said...

I have so much shiny brass hardware it's ridiculous?!!? 20 yrs. ago I thought it was so classy. And to boot, my husband owns a scrap yard so he keeps bringing home more shiny brass stuff!? But now, I'm going to wield a paint can and make everything aged and lovely:) Your light turned out great--almost like an oil-rubbed bronze. How did you do it and what did you use?

Tom and Angie Archibald said...

please, please tell us what spray paint you used on your bathroom light! and did you prime with something?? love it!

angie

ellischainker said...

How did you do it, and what did you use?

Anonymous said...

You inspired me to paint the bad brass awhile ago, so I'm also sad that Rustoleum Metallic ORB is hard to find. I tried a small neighborhood hardware store (Ace). They had a whole row of it.

Anonymous said...

FYI Brass will never go out of style. Oil rubbed brass will be out this time next year. Count on it. Same with damask pillows......I could go on and on.

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

OH what kind of paint did you end up using? I'm so freaking bummed about this -- what the heck are they thinking? You know what -- I have thought about doing this with our bathroom light too and leaving it up to do it. I may just do it now!! :) I'm so afraid the paint is going to go everywhere!!

Sharon said...

I've done this, spray painted a standing brass lamp with flat black paint, and then a light coat of fat urethane to stop fingerprints. New lamp shade and voila ... an impressive up to date lamp.