8.22.2008

Brass Bed Blues

Today I need your help!  We have inherited a twin-sized brass bed from my in-laws, and we plan to use it for Nina when she moves into her "big girl bed" in a few months.  Problem is, the bright, shiny brass is so not my style, but it is an old family piece.  I am more than willing to put some work into painting or antiquing it, but I don't know how! 

I've thought about painting it a creamy off-white, which I think would be really pretty, but I don't know what type of paint to use.  And then do I use a glaze on top?  Do I distress it somehow?  Do I leave part of it (like the knobs) brass?  

Or, is there some way, without paint, to distress brass so that it looks darker, almost like oil-rubbed bronze?  Could it become almost a rich brownish-black if I did that?

Just so you know, the picture below is the headboard, which is about 5 feet tall.  The footboard is in the same style, about 3 feet tall.

Advise me, oh wise friends in the computer!  Have you ever worked with brass pieces like this?  Please help me!  But more importantly, Happy Friday and have a great weekend!




35 comments:

Wendy said...

I will be interested to see what people come up with on this one...we too inherited an old brass bed, and I'm trying to figure out how to tackle it! I hope someone has some great ideas for you. :)

a day in the life of bella said...

Hi! A big girl bed, that's exciting! I remember when our little one got his...it was such a good idea, too because he 'banged' in his crib at all hours of the night and kept us up...he finally slept through the night once he got his bed, phew!

I will probably be in the minority here, but I wouldn't paint that bed. Gold/Brass will come back in style and you will be ready for it when it does. That said, I did just spray paint a brass container black, lol, but that was just a container, this is a bed. I don't know, I wouldn't, but that's me.

In our bedroom, that is Aqua, Black and White...I went with gold accesories, but really they are only in the master bath...because the mirror in there has a gold frame, so I chose gold colored lighting fixtures to go with it...and they were readily available at Lowe's...so maybe it is coming back in style sooner than we think, lol. It was a toned down gold though, not brassy...but still, I know it will make a comeback.

I am so wordy this morning, lol ;)

All of that being said...I can't wait to see what you do with it, even if you do paint it :)

Bella

Shannon said...

When I painted my iron bed (which very well could have been brass--it was solid rust when I got it), I sanded it, kilz prime, and then spray paint. It has held up well.

Deb said...

Okay, so I once saw on an HGTV thing I think, that someone took those ugly brass light fixtures that come in most homes, and they sprayed it with Easy Off. Of course you need to do this outside, but apparently there is something in the Easy Off that causes the brass to age and tarnish. The end result was amazing it had this wonderful old patina on it. Dark brownish almost black. You might look into it and see what you find. That way you don't have to worry about paint chipping off. Good luck with that.

Jboo said...

Cool headboard -- can't wait to hear what people come up with for you as I have a couple light fixtures that could use a re-do. Have a fun weekend.

Janet

Chris said...

Well, I don't know what types of treatments to put on brass other than paint. If you do paint, I would use a good primer. I think a creamy white would be a really pretty color. It would transform the bed! Good luck and keep us posted!

Christy said...

Carrie~

I would say make sure that you first apply some primer. Nothing will stick to the brass if you don't do this first. I think cream or white would be very nice since it will be for your daughter. I can't wait to see the final project... have fun!

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

Sorry I can offer any help here. But I am interested in what other people have to offer and I can't wait to see the finished bed!!!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

I would sand it and then primer it....my sister did this to one of her beds, she then painted it black and then rubbed it with a little silver and matched it with a black dresser that she refinished...it looked fabulous and when paired with the perfect comforter, it was totally adorable and she used it for a young girls room!!


Keep us posted!

Lisa

Nikki said...

I have never painted brass, but I know that many have had success with it. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Sweet Simplicity said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom! It would be cute if you did the cream color and do it shabby chic. Shows us pics of the final project when you conquer it!

Screaming Meme said...

Hey,girly! Painting brass is a simple, five-step process.... Cleaning,
Pretreatment
Primer
Color
Polyurethane topcoat.
First,clean the brass...next you pretreat the brass by sanding.... (or other ways listed below...) then you put on a base coat apply an epoxy primer paint, paint the brass the chosen color...apply a polyurethane topcoat!
Brass is different than other surfaces you may paint because it, as well as other alloys of copper, will corrode! Yucky! These corrosion particles may adhere tightly or loosely. Either way, the particles must be removed by a pretreatment process before painting. Follow these easy steps to assure your newly painted bed turns out....

Remove oily soils and other materials by cleaning the brass.
Remove any corrosion products by abrading the surface using sandpaper, brushes or blasting with abrasive media by etching using an acid such as a bright dipping solution; or by applying a chromate pretreatment.
Apply the epoxy primer as soon as possible after pretreatment (one of the processes in number 2).
Paint the brass the color you choose...
Apply the polyurethane topcoat.
Good luck!....Screaming Meme

If you or any one else needs paint tips come over to my blog...and start Screaming Meme's Faux School!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

First of all, good idea to change it up to reuse, I need to have more vision like that!! I agree with sanding, then priming, then painting, though I am no means an expert! Have fun! Look forward to seeing how it comes out!

Genny said...

I am definitely not the person to give advice, as I've never done something like that, but I have to say I like your idea of creamy off-white. That sounds beautiful.

Have a great weekend!

Michelle said...

I would make a slipcover for it that way if brass comes back "in" or you want to change the colors of the room all you would need to do is sew a new cover. Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide.

Take care
Michelle

Kelli@SassySouthernMom said...

Whatever you decide to do will be delightful I'm sure. I know I will definitely be in the minority saying this, but I wouldn't paint over the brass. Beds like that are sooo hard to come by, and the fact that it's a piece of family furniture makes it all the more special. I know brass is not "in" these days, but some things are just classic, they never really go out of style.

Joy said...

You might be surprised to read this from me, but I would leave it alone. There is a timelessness to an old brass bed, especially a family heirloom. I always feel like I should give honor to a piece like that. The problem with painting it would be if you ever change your mind, it won't be easy to return it to it's glory.
If it's just the "shiny factor" that bothers you, I would look into ways to just tone it down with some type of glaze. My advise would be to ask a REAL professional.

Sandy Toes said...

What a cute bed! My girlfriend did her daughters room in black and hot pink...with a crystal chandlier...it's so cute! ...a little black toile...but it's girly and sweet! She has a black iron bed in her room.
Love your blog!
Sandy Toes at www.shellinyourpocket.blogspot.com

Kelsey said...

That is so pretty! I havent painted brass before but I hope you have luck with it!

Tausha said...

Just came across your blog and have really enjoyed myself!
I have a different opinion than the others. I love the brass-but instead of painting because it is so permanent and you are not sure how it would turn out-why don't you make a cover for it?
I have seen it in magazines in a ton of differnt styles. Use a quilt and cutain clips with a cute ribbon. I have seen it done with rugs-thinner ones-that one was cute because of the texture. Or, you could just make a custom cover and pull it over the top. Kind of like a fancy kitchen chair cover.
I think that if you did that-you could get the look you wanted-but it wouldn't be permanent-then when you want a change-pull it off! Good luck! Make sure that you post whatever you do! We all love to be inspired!

Screaming Meme said...

Your welcome! I know it can be scary...If you don't paint...I like the slipcover idea! I'd get someone to monogram an initial or symbol on it! If you paint it...what color would you go with?

Screaming Meme said...

That would be beautiful! You could still add cream in the bedding! I want to see it when you done!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Sorry no brass bed advice, but those $5.oo finds are amazing! I almost bought a little chalkboard like that at a second hand store, but when I went back someone else had snatched it up. Have a wonderful weekend. Jackie

Magpie Interior Design said...

Personally, I hate brass. But the shape is delish! I love the idea of painting it a creamy white but I sadly have no clue how you would go about making sure it sticks. Either way, can't wait to see it finished!!

~Stacy

Kristy said...

I think the white wash look would be nice. Im sure they have some kind of paint that would adhere to it. I cant wait to see your final result !!

Our Complete Family said...

Oooh, what a FUN project! And that it's going to be a big girl bed for your little one? Even more FUN! Can't wait to see pics when you finish it all up!!! ~ Les

Our Complete Family said...

Holy smokes Carrie! You have TONS of ideas to check out here girly!!! What FUN! I am excited to see the neat outcome, but it might not be exciting to use all that elbow grease to get to it!!! Maybe a good glass on vino will help ease ya into it!!! ;) Yep, it was SO COOL to live in Germany. Tons of flea markets, AWESOME food, wonderful wine and MEMORIES! We want to take another overseas assignment in the future so Caroline can travel some, too! I grew up in England (from age 5-graduating HS, only minus 1 1/2 of those years to come back stateside for Dad's work. I LOVED England!) Happy, Happy weekend wishes to you! Thanks for wishing us one, too!!! Hugs~ Les

Lisa said...

I wish I could help...but I have none. Did you ever get my invite to view my blog? I sent it to you a few day's ago. I can resend it to you if you want.

Jen r. said...

I do oil rubbed bronze with Rustoleum. Use a metal primer even if it's white after that cures...spray a mixture of dark brown, copper metallic and then flat black. Start with the Dark brown then mist with the copper, then mist with the black until you get the look you want. Seal it with a satin clear coat like min wax polyacrylic. Anytime you paint metal, use a metal spray paint like Rustoleum. I hope this helps! :) Jen R

Kimba said...

What a beautiful bed! I love it! And I would paint it too. I would just use a good primer like Kilz and then paint it whatever color I wanted. A soft white would be beautiful for a big girl's room.

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

my advise? Give yourself a little time to decide. How old/valueable is the bed really? From the 60;s-70's or really old? That may be a factor. I'm guessing that you may regret painting it. Especially if truly an antique. I'd let the brass age (don't polish) and either do a slipcover or see if you like it as is after a while. By the time you add covers and pillows and shams, maybe a quilt thrown over, you won't even notice much the frame. Do the rest of the room 1st and then decide. If you do paint, a cream color is timeless, if not, a pretty quilt or toile slipcover would be darling. :)

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Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a brass bed so cool I don't know a treatment but if you google can you paint a brass bed some great working websites Will come up. Good luck!