This DIY tutorial will show you how to paint a realistic oil rubbed bronze finish using spray paint. This technique is perfect for updating the finish on an otherwise lovely looking chandelier!

oil rubbed bronze

Years ago, when we were looking for a house, we must have seen about 20 different houses, and the only one that made me go “GASP” was our current home. I loved the layout of the house,  the double-staircase, and the new oil rubbed bronze hardware, but the clincher for me was finding a Weeping Willow tree in the backyard – my favorite tree. “GASP” indeed!


Now, as you all know, a “GASP” can come in many different forms – some are good, some are not. Unfortunately, I have been “GASPing” nearly every day since we bought this house over something not nearly as good as the Willow Tree in my backyard.

oil rubbed bronze_ chandelier before

It’s the chandelier in the dining room. When I happen to look up at the light in the dining room and notice how inconsistent it is from the other metal finishes throughout the house, I let out a slight, but perceptible “GASP.”
An oil rubbed bronze finish fixture would be perfect in the space, but new lighting is expensive and not in the current budget. Luckily, I know a few tricks on how to paint an oil-rubbed bronze finish layering colors of spray paint.  But wait, why not use oil-rubbed bronze spray paint instead of going to all of this layering trouble? When you look at a bronze piece, you’ll always see variations in color and even sheen. Layering the paint mimics this and makes your paint finish look more authentic.  Let me show you how!
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How to Get an Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish with Spray Paint



Rub n Buff in Ebony
Rub n Buff  in Spanish Copper
Rustoleum American Accents Satin – in Espresso
Rustoleum Satin – in Charcoal


remove light fixture

1Remove the chandelier from the ceiling. If you aren’t sure how to do this safely, hire a licensed professional to help out!
oil rubbed bronze finish - rough up with sand paper
Use sandpaper to gently rough up the surface of the light to ensure the paint adheres.
3 Although I didn’t do this, I would recommend taping off any areas of the chandelier with painters tape that you don’t want to receive paint, such as the wiring. It’s a pain to try holding out of the way while trying to spraypaint, trust me!

oil rubbed bronze finish_first coat

4 To get an authentic oil rubbed bronze look we’ll need to layer our paint colors. Begin by spraypainting an even coat of Rustoleum Espresso and let dry.
oil rubbed bronze finish_pewter coat
Spray paint an even coat of “Soft Iron” Rustoleum Metallic Satin and let dry

oil rubbed bronze finish_add rub n buff

The final step to achieving a perfect oil rubbed bronze finish is applying texture and aging. Using a cloth, apply a thin layer of rub n buff to the edges of the chandelier, mimicking the color variations you would see on real bronze hardware.

oil rubbed bronze finish with paint

Rehang the lamp, add vintage style bulbs.
Voila! An oil rubbed bronze finish chandelier, costing next to nothing, achieved in just one afternoon! Never underestimate the power of spray paint!
oil rubbed bronze finish
I’m so happy to be seeing the light, and “GASPing” happily – over my Willow Tree AND my dining room chandelier!
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  1. Aprilrutherford on May 21, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I gotta get some of that stuff!

  2. Aprilrutherford on May 21, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Oh, and I think we have the exact same hutch 😉

  3. rh on December 7, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Can’t see the pictures 🙁

    • admin on December 8, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Oh no! Thank you so much for letting me know that!

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