Take 90's Brass into the new millenium...on a budget

Home Stager with ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC

When I'm called upon to conduct a home staging consultation, it's typically for an occupied resale in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.  The homeowners often just want professional guidance:  to be told where to begin, what to do and what not to do.  As I take my notes, I include everything that should be done to update but prioritize according to ROI because realistically not everyone has the budget to do everything.  This helps them decide how to best spend their money.

The development of suburban subdivisions in Metro Atlanta over the last 15-20 years, or so, have left today's market with some very 'dated' resale homes in comparison to the amount of vacant new construction available.  With foreclosures and short sales on the rise, homeowners are often strapped for cash and cannot always afford to spend much to update anything.

~How do the resales compete with the new construction that has all the bells and whistles people want today and are in the same price category? 

~Why would a buyer want to buy a dated resale when they could purchase an updated new home for practically the same price?

Realistically, a resale will not get the large return on investment to do ALL of the upgrades that comparably priced new construction has to offer.  What to do?  A few cosmetic adjustments will provide the home with the updated aesthetics that buyers are looking for...and here's one small way. 

The dreaded brass light fixtures hanging in the kitchens, dining rooms etc. of so many circa 1990 homes immediately date the house, unless it's done totally right and on purpose...which isn't often.  =)  Solution?  Well, yes purchasing another fixture is ideal but if you have a few fixtures to replace, the price will add up quickly.  Inexpensive solution?  Paint it! 

 Rust Oleum paintA good choice is Rust Oleum American Accents Metallic Paint.  A couple of coats work wonders to update a brass light fixture.  A clear coat will help protect the finish.  The color used for my project was Oil Rubbed Bronze.  We all know how great those bronze fixtures look but that they come with a price tag too. 








painted light fixtureThis Brass light fixture made the dining appear very dated, even after painting the room an updated neutral (used Behr Cappucino). 

Now, with it's new paint finish, it side-steps into the new millenium like it's real oil rubbed bronze cousins. 


We're probably going to source mini shades for this fixture to coordinate with the buffet lamps being used on the sideboard, to soften the white stems.











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Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

We did this to our own fixture and it looks great. I always recommend this to clients who have them as a cost effective option to purchasing new. Thanks for sharing Abby!

Aug 22, 2008 01:54 PM #14
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

Makig the most at it's best!  Spraying works great on brass fireplace screens also - use BBQ heat-resistant flat black.  Voila!

Aug 22, 2008 02:33 PM #15
Michelle Ewing
Trademark Realtors - Riverside, CA
Riverside, CA

Wow!!!!  That looks like a new fixture.  I've been thinking about spray painting my own chandelier, but I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

Aug 22, 2008 03:28 PM #16
Julea Joseph
Reinventing Space - Chicago, IL
Julea Joseph House Stager - Reinventing Space

Love it.  I suggest that all the time for both my staging and redesign clients.  I haven't tried that brand I use the HAND HAMMERED version - yours look awesome and love the black.

You can also do the same on the exterior lighting by remmoving the glass and blue taping and newspapering.

Aug 23, 2008 12:29 AM #17
Shobha Vyavahare
stagewithme, Greenville, South Carolina - Greenville, SC

Oh yes I love that paint, I have used it to spruce up outside lamps looks great and holds up good through weather too, I used flat black, but next time I will try yours.


Aug 23, 2008 12:53 AM #18
Abby Roselli
ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC - Staten Island, NY
Staten Island Home Stager

Great idea, Ginger!  I'm ready for the challenge!!!!  I'm sure I can dig up a few items in my house that could use a new look!!!!!  You wanna set it up?????  I think you should  =)

Sharon, I'll admit this is a first but considering how well it turned out, I won't think twice about recommending it next time.  You know, some people might think it's cheesy to paint rather than replace. 

Thanks Kristina, I'm glad you think so!

Hi Karen, Thanks and it's really great to know that so many others out there are doing the same.  I know I'm not original in the idea, obviously, just figured I'd share what I did!

Hey Leah, AHHHH!!!!  Brass fireplaces!!!  Now that's BRILLIANT!  I didn't even think of that.  My husband is working on a remodel and the woman has spent a small fortune on so much but her dated brass fireplace is screaming for help!  I'm soooo going to recommend that!  THANKS!  Actually, I know someone who recommends spray painting all brass doorknobs with the Bronze finish.  She uses a clearcoat when finished to seal it.  Personally, I haven't tried it and seems like a lot of work BUT, again, in comparison to the expense of replacing them, it's probably worth it.  I'm a little skeptical as I look around my own house and see the number of doorknobs we have!  LOL

Michelle, well now you know you can give a shot!  Good Luck!

Hi Julea, I LOVE the hand hammered paint!  Bet that would look fantastic.  THANKS!  We did our own ugly brass exterior fixtures with just plain black and it came out great...now they look like carriage lights.  Really cool.

Hi Shobha, now that's good to know that it holds up outdoors.  Our exterior fixtures were only done about 2 months ago so other than the extreme sun late in the day, we haven't had any weather conditions to really expose it to yet. 



Aug 23, 2008 02:42 AM #19
No Longer Available
White Rock, BC

Abby, great tip.  Thank you.  

I have not used this method yet for staging.   Although I did have a redesign client who had taken a few of her date things, some green iron furniture and painted it black.   It was absolutely beautiful. 

Aug 23, 2008 03:19 AM #20
Marian Lake Walker
Staged 2Gain - Inverness, FL
Home Stager Florida, Home Staging Central Florida

Thanks Abby,

Glad to be among such distinguished company--spray painting is one the quickest, easiest ways to accomplish great transformations on a miniscule budget! 

Aug 23, 2008 04:35 AM #21
Kathy Riggle
Houston Home Staging

Thanks for reminding us about this, Abby! Great & inexpensive transformation.

Aug 23, 2008 10:48 AM #22
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Abby, thanks for sharing!  Needed this for a client a while ago. At least I know now.

Aug 23, 2008 12:38 PM #23
Abby Roselli
ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC - Staten Island, NY
Staten Island Home Stager

Thanks Joelle!

Marian, I'm with you on that one...didn't realize how many others were painting things. 

Thanks Kathy!

You're welcome Tanya...sorry it's a bit late! 

Aug 24, 2008 02:23 AM #24
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!


You are so right! I sprayed painted my dining room fixture to look like wrought iron and it turned out fabulous. I get many comments from guests when they come over.  Very inexpensive and fun to do!

Aug 24, 2008 04:39 AM #25
Deborah Chene
Staging Impressions - Farmington Hills, MI

Abby, another great update is to add black shades to a fixture.  I recommended painting to several clients to no avail, but I have real world examples to point to now.

Aug 25, 2008 03:42 AM #26
Shelley Roufs
Simply Staged Homes - New Ulm, MN

Abby, great reminder. I was just in a home with all gold fixtures, including the faucets. Too bad they cant' be painted! Love the idea. Do you take the electrical wiring apart yourself or do you have a pro?

Aug 27, 2008 11:05 AM #27
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Hi Abby, What a beautiful change.. I do love that bronzed look.. Someone reccommended this to me when I posted about painting a metal table, still have not gotten around to it but I loved seeing your results. Thanks so much and God bless,

Aug 30, 2008 06:57 AM #28
Kristie Feener
Elements Home Decorating & Staging Ltd. - Calgary, AB

What a fantastic idea Abby!! What a great way to save money!!!

Aug 31, 2008 04:44 PM #29
Abby Roselli
ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC - Staten Island, NY
Staten Island Home Stager

Hi Anthea,  I'm always afraid some things are going to look 'cheap' and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this one...not cheap looking at all.

Hi Deborah, Yes that's been our consideration.  I'm not a fan of the black shades (I don't like they way they look when lit up) but I was thinking maybe a mossy green or a cafe au lait color.  hey, pass it along...  =)

Hi Shelley, oh, I know, right?  I was standing in my own shower thinking 'hmmm, I wonder if I could spray paint the chrome trim in here?"  LOL  This fixture was taken apart.  My hubby helped...he's good like that  =)

Hi Cheryl, ooh, I'd love to see a table done like that!  do it and send us pictures!  Thanks for commenting.

Hi Kristie, thanks.  Like I said before, I always get concerned if projects like that are going to look cheap...but thankfully it came out great!  And, I'd do it again...and probably will!  lol



Sep 02, 2008 08:41 AM #30
Kathi Presutti
RE:STYLE LLC - Brighton, MI
Re:Style, LLC

Hi Abby,

Great post! I have recommended htis to clients because, I confess, I saw it done for HGTV. But I wasn't sure about the prep part, and I didn't have a specific paint to recommend--now, thanks, to you, I have both!

Sep 02, 2008 01:14 PM #31
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

This is a great idea, we have the same brass fixtures everywhere in Houston, just don't know If I can get up there to get them down.

Sep 04, 2008 04:43 PM #32
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

I LOVE this stuff, we use it alot on range hoods. Some range hoods can be so pitted and greasy. With some sanding, cleaning and this can of spray paint...VOILA a new hood for under $10.00

Phyllis Pafumi

Oct 04, 2008 02:10 PM #33
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Abby Roselli

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