Decor,  DIY Decor,  Restoration/ Makeover

Faux Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish

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So, I was at the hardware store the other day and spotted Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint. I don’t know if it’s brand new, or I’ve just never seen it before, but I got excited! Spray paint provides so many possibilities! And faux finishes are super great for decorating on a budget! Today I will walk you through the process of how I achieve this stunning faux oil rubbed bronze look for this thrifted lamp!

Faux Oil Rubbed Bronze Tutorial

You will need:

*Please note that RubnBuff is textured. It won’t be a perfectly smooth finish, but the texture is what I wanted for this project.

1 | Clean Your Item

As with any surface that you plan to spray paint, it is important to clean your item well. I typically will just use dish soap and warm water to wipe down my object. If your item can’t be submerged, just use a rag with warm water and dish soap to wipe down the item removing any dust and debris. Let it dry completely before you try to paint your item.

2 | Paint Tape (Optional)

If you have areas that you don’t want to be painted, it is easiest to apply masking tape or painter’s tape to those areas. Make sure to tape off areas like electrical cords and/or light bulb sockets.

3 | Spray Paint

Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you are ready to spray paint. I usually just use my patio because it is covered, but you can also use a garage or just go outside. Also, lay down some newspaper or painter’s plastic if you don’t want to accidentally paint the surface below.

Shake up the can of paint and spray your object from about 18 inches away. This will mist the surface without leaving drips. Let it dry for about 20 minutes before adding any additional coats. For this lamp, I sprayed two coats.

4 | Apply the RubnBuff

Once the spray paint is completely dried, it is time to apply the RubnBuff gilding paste. I tested a few colors of the RubnBuff and felt like the antique gold was the most accurate color for this project. I tried out several different methods to apply the gilding paste, but the best way I found was to just use your fingers. With gilding paste on your finger, gently wipe the paste across the edges you think should look “rubbed.”

If you look at items at are actual oil rubbed bronze, you can see that the edges that are likely to have been handled regularly are the ones that are lighter. This gives us a good idea of where to place the gilding paste in order to create a realistic-looking finish. This part does take a bit of an artistic eye, but if you are unsure, you can practice on another surface.

Please note that this stuff sets quickly, so you can’t really go back and blend it out. You’ll have to work in small sections at a time.

5 | Clear Coat (Optional)

If the item you are refinishing is likely to be handled fairly often, I would suggest adding a clear coat just to protect and extend the life of the paint job. I would suggest a satin clear coat for this faux oil rubbed bronze finish to look realistic. Since the Rubnbuff gilding paste sets so quickly, you can add the clear coat immediately after you have finished gilding your item.

6 | Done!

Now that you are done, it’s time to show off your work!


If you enjoyed this Faux Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish Tutorial please share! As always, I’m happy to help you out if you have any questions, comments, or concerns! Just leave a message below!

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