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  • Writer's pictureThe Rural Legend

How To Make Thrifted Items Look Like Antique Brass Home Decor

Antique Brass home decor adds warmth and sophistication to any home. REAL antique brass can either be hard to find at thrift stores or can be really expensive, so I learned a trick to make any piece of home decor look like aged brass to save you money! Read on to learn how to transform those inexpensive thrift store pieces into treasure for your home!

Before-and-after images of a lamp on a console table, which is then revamped with a new shade and now looks like it's made of antique brass.
This little lamp got a major glow up with the easy tutorial below!

Thrift stores are filled with unwanted home decor items that look cheap, are the wrong color/finish, or they're just plain ugly! One of my favorite thrifting tips is to look at the shape of an item, not its color. With a few simple materials the color or appearance of even the cheapest decor can be made to look luxe!

Before-and-after images of two decorative dog figurines which are transformed to look like they are made of brass.
We transformed these dog figurines into luxe bookends for our family room!

What kinds of home decor can I use this tutorial for?

  • picture frames

  • lamps

  • ceramic figurines

  • candle sticks

  • pieces that are made to look like faux gold or brass

  • decorative trays

  • holiday decor and so many more!

Before-and-after images of a decorative metal Christmas tree, which is then made to look like it's composed of brass.

How to create the look of antique brass Home Decor

1. Start by cleaning your item really well with mild dish soap and water. You want to make sure you remove any dirt and grime before beginning your transformation!

Before-and-after images of a metal frame with flower detailing, which now looks like an antique brass display frame.

2. Next paint your piece using either gold or black spray paint depending on how dark you want the final product to look. I personally like to use gold spray paint for a soft warm aged brass, but if you like the look of rich, tarnished brass, start with black paint.

3. Make sure your item is fully covered in paint and allow the paint to dry according to the directions on the can.

Two images showing the process of transforming a gilded antique mirror by using Rub n' Buff wax metallic finish.

4. Next, using a small paint brush or just your finger, apply a small amount of Rub'n Buff to the item. Pro Tip: if using your finger, wear gloves as the wax will stain your skin for a bit! My two favorite colors to use to mimic brass are Grecian Gold and Gold Leaf. Make sure to blend in the metallic wax as you go and watch how it begins to deepen the brass tone of your piece!

5. Allow the Rub'n Buff to dry and then buff gently with a clean rag to polish and add shine.

An image of someone holding a Rust-oleum can above picture frames next to an image of pictures frames on a wall that have a metallic finish.

6. If desired add another level of dimension to your item with a different shade of Rub'n Buff. Play around with different colors until you get the look you're happy with! Recently my perfect combination is this gold spray paint and Gold Leaf Rub'n Buff.

An image of a small elaborate embellishment being held up next to an image of a antique brass looking mirror with several similar ornate embellishments.

xoxo, L

1 Comment

Mar 23

So surprised to see the pleated lampshades (that were the style in the '80s) come back into style.

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