Many Uses for Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint

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Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint…oh how I love thee.
Really, I do.
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze
I cannot tell you how many cans of this I have gone through.
I’ve used it on everything. Almost.

There are just so many great uses for it, updating, changing metal color, etc.
I’m going to show you a few of them here.

1. Remember this fabulous Aubusson Blue dresser? The one I had to “create” a handle for?
You can read about that on this post here.

I sprayed these handles with Oil Rubbed Bronze and then put a light touch of gold paint over them…. (to give a bit of highlight)
Missing Handle - Here's a fix - Make one to match
This is the gold paint I used.

Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze

2. How about this little ice bucket I found at the thrift store. The sad little thing looked worse for wear with the cheap brassy colored handle and top.
But a quick spray of Oil Rubbed Bronze

Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze

….had it looking like new.

3.  Or how about these? They were hooks I bought for my new Board & Batten wall in the Kitchen.
I bought them bought new at Lowe’s but they were an Antique Brass color.
They didn’t have any in Bronze ones that I liked.

So…..I sprayed them.
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze
And I sprayed the screws to match too, of course.

4. And then there are the lights we purchased from Lowe’s about 6-7 years ago.
Brushed Nickel.

Very nice but I was ready for a change…but not the expense of new lights.

On either side of our fireplace in our Family Room were two outlets up by the mantel.
I didn’t really get that?
Like I was going to set something onto the mantel and have a cord running up to the outlet on the
wall on each side? Or maybe I was supposed to put night lights on each side? Who designed that?

So we pulled those outlets out and my husband wired in these lights.
Here is one of them sprayed them with Oil Rubbed Bronze for a brand new look.

Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze
Sorry I don’t have a better before picture. At the time I did most of these I didn’t think I would be blogging about it.
But hopefully you get the idea.
Could not get any easier or cheaper for a completely new look.

5. Here’s the little “Before/After Fun” Hutch I posted about here.
I painted the Hutch and sprayed the handles with Oil Rubbed Bronze.
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze

6. And these gorgeous “antique” looking handles I bought for an antique dresser I refinished.
The dresser had been painted several times and the original hardware had long since been removed.
You can read more about the dresser —> here.
I wanted to restore it to it’s antique glory so found these handles online. Except they were brass.
Shiny, really gold brass. But very inexpensive.

I could’ve gotten some others in the right color that were quite a bit more expensive but that would’ve been cost prohibitive for this project.

So I purchased these and sprayed them with Oil Rubbed Bronze.
I did add a touch of that same gold paint, very lightly, to give them some “antique-ness” after spraying.
You can just see it in the picture below around the edges of the handle.
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint - #oilrubbedbronze
7. The Gallery Wall that I created going up my stairs, post about that is –>  here.

Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze
I bought very inexpensive, mismatched frames at the thrift store and garage sales.
I sprayed them with Oil Rubbed Bronze so they would have a cohesive look and not take away from the photos inside.
I love how this wall turned out.

8. This is a bar stool that lived in another home we built that had a raised bar top in the kitchen.

Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint - #oilrubbedbronze
When we moved into this house we had walls everywhere and no bar top.
So since I hardly get rid of anything, these went to live on our screened porch for a few years.

We have since torn out walls and opened our kitchen/family room/dining room up.
You can see some of that —> here.
We created a bar top between the Family Room and Kitchen and so was once again were in need of bar stools.

No problem. I had 2! 😉

BUT they had gotten a little rusty in places from being outside on the screened porch.
No worries.
I sanded those areas lightly and sprayed both chairs with Oil Rubbed Bronze.
I then took that same gold paint and rubbed it over the medallion on the chair back to bring out the detail.
I also recovered the seat with a pretty yellow fabric. (it was a putty colored suede before)
Chairs long since purchased recycled for a completely new look.

9. This is my guest bath cabinet.
It was originally a cherry wood color but I painted it recently when I decided to redecorate the bathroom.

Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint - #oilrubbedbronze
The handles are actually made of wood and matched the cherry.
I was going to purchase new ones but figured I’d just spray them to look like the rest of the fixtures in the room…you guessed it, Oil Rubbed Bronze.

10. These little mirrors I got from the thrift store. Kind of ugly to start….a little spray and pretty bronze.
I also added a touch of the gold on the edges. (clearly I like the gold effect on the ORB :) )
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint- #oilrubbedbronze

11. No before picture of this little metal scroll stand/shelf ….
but we’ve had it around 13 years now.
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint - #oilrubbedbronze
So…just use your imagination….and imagine it shiny white with very shiny, gold finials at the top there.
Oh and gold edges on each shelf. (this is just one shelf…there are three and go to the floor)
I peeled that cheap brass off each shelf edge and sprayed the whole thing with Oil Rubbed Bronze.
Love it now!

12. And finally my vents.
Lovely builder grade putty color…..all scratched and beaten up….OLD

…to pretty, new and updated looking.
Many Uses of Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) Spray Paint - #oilrubbedbronze

I just love them now. Vents. Who loves vents? I do.
They make me happy when I see them…and see how pretty they are on my floors in that gorgeous Bronze color.

I love how simple and inexpensive it was to change up so many things in my home with this little can of spray paint!
I’ve shown you 12 here but there are many, many more ways to use this paint.
But hopefully this gives you a good idea of the things you can do with this wonderful product.
(by the way, this is not a sponsored post I just love this product! 😉 )
Have you ever tried Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint before?
Or something like it? There are other Metallic colors but this is my favorite….for the moment.

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    • Jody says

      I would like to know what color of cream you used to paint your guest bathroom cabinet cream as shown above?

      I want to paint my cabinets this same color.

      Thanks for your sharing!

      • Nancy says

        Hi Jody,

        I would love to be able to tell you the color! But, unfortunately I mixed some acrylic paint into the Sherwin Williams base I had to come up with that particular color. (it was a bit too “white” to start so I warmed it up some). What I can do is take the can with the rest of that paint (that I mixed) to my SW store and see if they can color match (I’m sure they can!) and then I can give you the code with what they come up with. I don’t mind at all.

  1. says

    What amazing transformations Nancy! You have done some wonderful work! I just used some tonight actually on a mini garden trellis I’m making! I’m thinking I have more projects in my future after seeing your stunning examples!!

        • Nancy says

          Hi Carla,
          I have used a clear coat but not always. It depends on what I’m using it on. If it’s something that will get more use than a clear coat might help longevity. (but the things I’ve done without have held up well too!) It’s just more of a personal preference I suppose.

        • Cyn Johnson says

          I spray painted a gold bed frame with the Bronze. I applied 2 coats but recommend you cover it with a clear sealer spray paint. I didn’t do this and over time I see nicks in the frame. I just use a foam little paint brush and touch it up. Works fine. I will eventually take it apart again and reapply the Bronze and then seal it. The Paint is awesome

          • Nancy says

            Oh I agree! I love this paint! :) I’ve used it many other things since I’ve posted here!


  2. says

    That’s amazing! Glad you shared this blog posting. I have ugly floor vents that I thought of spraying but wasn’t sure it would work. Yours look new! Wonderful ideas with the picture frames, too. I also use one color for all our pics but limit myself to only buying in that color…no longer!

  3. says

    I love the idea of spraypainting those ugly vent covers! I wanted to get the decorative ones, but it winds up being pretty expensive.. I’m totally trying that.

  4. says

    OK Nancy, you’ve convinced me that I need to get my hands on some ORB! I have so many projects I could use this on…ugly brass chandelier, light fixtures, door knobs and hinges (instead of buying new ones)… Thanks for all of the before-and-after shots! (And I love the framed wall with “matching” frames too!)

  5. Beth Barkoviak says

    Love all of your ideas for the ORB paint!! I am wondering if I could use it on the ugly green ceramic tiles in my fireplace surround…..what do you think???? If so….what prep would need to be done……sand & prime??

    thanks so much!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Beth,
      Thanks so much! :)
      On the tile surround, I don’t think I’d use the spray. I do believe they have this paint in a liquid form now so it can be applied with a roller or brush. I would be sure to clean well, then scuff up the tile a bit and use a good primer beforehand. I have a brick surround and painted it with regular latex paint about 9 years ago. It has held up well (but brick is very porous! not shiny/slick like tile) We also do not use the fireplace so have no worries of heat, etc.
      We used to have green tiles (not a pretty green!) in our guest bath so I feel your pain. 😉

  6. Katie Cannon-Miles says

    Loved reading your blog!! I was introduced to ORB two months ago by my mother in law who loves it and since then i have sprayed EVERYTHING i can think of. Moving in to a house that is still stuck in the 80’s but having a limited renovation budget this has helped change small things, such as vents, but makes a huge difference!!

    Just in the process of spraying two nightstands and a dresser (from a second hand store) white and all the hardware is now ORB!!

    Oh and i am stealing the photo frame idea :o)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Katie :) Thanks so much, I just LOVE ORB. :) It’s great stuff isn’t it?? It’s amazing what you can do with a little paint! Oh and nice on the dresser/nightstands. I love contrast, I’d bet that is going to look really great.
      Steal away! 😉 It’s a great way to do matching frames on the cheap! (or just freshen up old ones)
      Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  7. Lisa H says

    Love this post. Just helped my sister “makeover” her front porch this weekend. We used ORB paint on the arms of her faded bench. I was telling her of all the things she could use the paint for. Your post shared ideas that I am going to try too! Love your blog and the work that you put in to it. Shared this post with my sister via Pinterest.

    • Nancy says

      Thanks so much! I just love the stuff 😉 You can really just do so much with it. Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog! Means a lot!! :)

  8. Pamela says

    I am transforming our home with ORB too! I have done the vents, some lights, towel holders, TP holders, Great stuff!

    • Nancy says

      Oh fun!! Yes, it is amazing how different things can look with a little spray from a small can of spray paint, huh?! Love it!

  9. shirley says

    super ideas! going to try some of them today. two questions–are you sanding pieces before you paint? Would you sand brass lamps? thanks!

    • Nancy says

      Thanks Shirley! Some of them yes, some no. For example, the light fixtures that won’t have much “wear” were no. The vents, since they are on the floor, I did lightly run some sandpaper over before spraying. Hope that helps!

  10. says

    Nice post! I just got a free old rusty umbrella stand for outside and I think I’m going to use this color to make it pretty again.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Jenny! Great! That is a wonderful idea. I’m sure it will look fabulous..(and like new!) Thanks so much for stopping by…all the best, Nancy

  11. Pam Byrd says

    I’m giving it a try. Bought a can of the oil rubbed bronze & am spray painting 2) electrical conduit (EMt) & coupling so it’ll be 13 ft long (too long to buy for a curtain rod), & the wooden rod brackets & 3″ round finials from lowes (painting them to match). Then I’m hoping to find the right fabric color to drape/swag for this 12′ of living room windows. Thanks for the paint idea, I couldn’t buy anything that would match my lamps & fan & furniture. What was closest (black wood) that I did find would have cost me over $200 for the hardware. So far I’ve got about $60 tied up in the hardware painting it myself.

  12. Carissa says

    Thanks for the great ideas! We have been wanting to change our brass door handles for ages but locating the finish we like is difficult and expensive. Would you recommend priming and sanding in preparation for a better finish?

  13. Jeanie says

    My husband and I just moved into a house built in 1989. Everything is shiny gold, which is bad enough, but in the powder room, they had a clear acrylic towel rack with a ledge on top. I just spray painted that baby ORB and you can’t even tell it’s plastic. Awesome! Oh, and we also did the ugly white plastic door bell cover. I actually found your site b/c I was searching for whether I could use it on saltillo tile around my fireplace. I just practiced on an extra piece that I found outside and it looks great. Of course, I’d want to use a white or off-white.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Jeanie! Oh that is wonderful!! I love to hear things like that! :) It’s amazing what a change a little paint can make. As much as I’ve done I’m still always stunned at the difference! Nancy

  14. LinhC says

    I love ORB! I finally got around to cleaning my yucky air vents that have never been cleaned in the 18 years we’ve been in this house. Gross! I wanted to use ORB on them, but wasn’t sure how they would look on our medium-color wood floor. I see that your floors are even lighter than mine. Do you like how the ORB vents “stand out”? I thought about using a lighter color on the vents, maybe a brown so that they would blend with the floors better.

    • Nancy says

      Hi, I love it too! 😉 I LOVE how they stand out against the floors actually. But I love contrast anyway. :) I think they will look good…and if you don’t like it you can always spray them a different color!

  15. says

    Wow! Love them all! I just bought Rustoleum’s Metallic “Dark Steel” for a project but you just gave me a revelation! I’m going to spray paint all my boyfriends ugly old gold door handles! Ya whoooo! (He’s going to think I’m crazy!)

  16. Maria G says

    This could not have been more perfect! Your blog was the first I came across when doing a google search for “how to bronze”. I’m giving my house a ‘face-lift’ and changed most decor items with the bronze and gold theme, and couldn’t afford to replace the current picture frames I have and thought, ‘how am I going to make them match?’ Thank goodness you had this posting! I am off to the hardware store to get me a can and get to work! Keep on blogging!

  17. Brenda says

    I was given a bed frame which was a cheap “silver” color, sort of a dull chrome…. I didn’t mind the style too much but the finish was ick. I painted it with ORB and painted my lamps to match. My bedroom looks fabulous! My only complaint is that it’s pretty expensive and the can runs out quick. But it’s not nearly as expensive as replacing crap. I’ve also painted drawer pulls, light fixtures, door knobs, coat hooks…

  18. Emily says

    I painted my ironing board with ORB! (Just the metal parts of course.) It looks SO much nicer than white and I plan to sew a pretty new ironing board cover too. I also used it to paint the ugly dimmer switch knob in my dining room, so it blends in now with the original 1940s brown bakelite light switch plate. Much better!

        • Nancy says

          No technique really! I just dabbed a bit onto my fingertip..wiped most of it away with a paper towel and then applied it lightly to the edges of the hardware. :)


  19. Megan says

    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for the post. I have just experience the same oil rubbed bronze painting addiction. I googled it because I needed to match the hardware on the coffee table that I just purchase because it had a couple scratches on it. So a trip to home depot last night has resulted in finding all kinds of things in my house to paint. I have been on the lookout for oil rubbed bronze bathroom accessories for months but I just refused to buy a waste paper basket that was $30. So last night I found my self a bright red Disney Cars little kid garbage can at the dollar store and now this morning I have a full set of matching accessories. That is a win in my books. Thanks your blog is great !

    • Nancy says

      Hi Megan,
      Isn’t it the greatest?! I just love this stuff and have used it on so many things. What an easy (and inexpensive) way to change things up. I LOVE that you were able to do all of that so inexpensively! That is so great! :)


  20. Kelly says

    Any update in how the paint has held up on the door hardware? Thinking of trying this on our brushed nickle ones but worried about the plate inside the door frame and the knob getting scuffed really easy. Or the faucets, how have they held up? Thanks!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Kelly,
      Everything I have painted with the ORB has held up wonderfully (handles, vents, etc etc). Some things you can do to help that along…lightly sand (with fine grit) your knobs (or any metal) first to roughen them up. Spray with several even, thin coats as opposed to one heavy one, letting them dry well in between. Also, you can seal with a sealant spray after that has dried if you like. And yes, anything with moving parts, such as the door frame coming together and apart will cause more wear on the paint.
      As far as the faucets, I didn’t paint those. I painted the little knobs on that cabinet to match the Bronze faucets and other hardware I already had in that room.
      Hope that was helpful to you!! :)

  21. Jaime says

    I saw in an earlier comment that you rubbed in on with your fingers. Any suggestions for doing a huge mirror? Doing it with the fingers would take a while, but isn’t out of the question.

    • Nancy says

      Hi Jaime,
      Yep, that is how I did it. I felt I had the most control of it that way. Plus, you just need a touch of the color. You can use a cloth, like an old tshirt material, and lightly rub over the edges with the gold. Or you could try dry brushing it on. That would be much quicker but might not give the same look. (using a dry paint brush, putting some product on it very lightly and wiping away most of it…then lightly going over the edges of whatever you want lightened/gold)
      I would probably still do it with my fingers for the mirror…but you can do it either way. :)
      Hope that helps!

    • Ellen says

      wow, what AWESOME-NESS! Love it, I just bought lamps for my bedroom that look like this color and now to brighten up old dresser handles to match, can’t wait!!
      Also, can this this product be used for outdoor projects?

      What gold paint do you use with your fingers to make it look antique?

      Love all your finished projects and hopefully I can find this ORB!
      Thanks again
      Ellen Conley from WI

      • Nancy says

        Aw thank you Ellen! :) I haven’t but I think it would be okay. (outdoors)
        I used Martha Stewart Gold Metallic Specialty Paint (Home Depot).
        It works so great over the ORB for that effect!

        • Ellen says

          thanks a lot, what is the cost? online I saw a can it was expensive, am I looking for the wrong item?

          • Nancy says

            Hi Ellen,

            I think they are about 6-7 dollars a can. Not too expensive. You can find it at the big box stores. (Lowe’s, Home Depot)

  22. Kristen Wren says

    I’m wanting to change the look of a mirror-framed wall-mounted fireplace. So you think the ORB spray paint would adhere to it?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Kristen,
      The ORB should adhere to it fine but it’s hard to say without seeing the item. I have painted many items with it however!
      Good luck!

  23. Connie says

    Looove this! Can’t wait to use this product. Question though…I want to use this on my door knobs which of course are high use. Should I use a protective finish and if so, what kind? I also have a shower that is brass UGLY & I hate and want to paint this. Any certain tips? Love your work!!!

    • Nancy says

      Hi Connie,
      It is great stuff! 😉 On the door knobs…. I would definitely sand then with some fine grit sandpaper before spraying. Take some of that shine off. Then do several very light even coats letting it dry very well in between. Once finished you can apply a seal coat if you like. There are several spray sealers you can find at Home Depot or Lowes. I can’t think of a particular one off hand.
      On the shower head….I cannot say how well it will hold up with the water, etc. ! If you hate it anyway, I say why not experiment!;) (that’s what I would do…but I am usually not afraid to paint much of anything!! )
      Good luck…and thank you!! :)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Ellen,

      You can find this paint at most hardware stores along with Lowe’s and Home Depot (I think both of those carry it) I’m not positive on the price, $6-7.


    • Nancy says

      Oh that’s so great!! Glad you tried it! And thanks so much for the shout out! :)
      Have a great weekend!!

  24. Kari says

    I LOVE this! I have two old toddler spring horses that I have kept forever to repurpose into an over a pond feature with a big makeover like you have done. I love the elegant bronze color and could add a little dry brush gold around the molded saddle and bridle parts… thinking, thinking! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Nancy says

      Thank you! And oh yes, that would be so pretty! I love adding a little accenting with the gold over the bronze. It’s the perfect touch! :)

    • Nancy says

      Hi Nicolle,
      Yep, you can. I would lightly sand (with fine sandpaper) first though to help with great adhesion. (slick surface)
      You don’t have to but I think it would help to keep the finish longer. You can also spray a sealer coat over top but again not required.
      (Remember, with moving parts and paint you can possible have some wear. I have done hinges and they are still good several years later though!)
      Hope that helps! :)

  25. Cindy says

    Funny, tonight I was just wondering if any of the blogs I follow had used the Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint on anything. I want to update our house bath, but replacing all the hardware would be too expensive right now. Any tips?

    • Nancy says

      Hi Cindy,
      I have not painted anything in the bath other than a towel ring…it has held up well though. I think lighting, handles, door hinges, handles on doors etc would all be fine. I am uncertain how the paint would hold up on water fixtures (I have never done that so cannot say)– if you were considering that. BUT my tip would be – it is always best to at least lightly sand the metal (if on an item that will get handled a lot) to take the shine off before spraying to help with adhesion. You could spray a sealer coat over that also.
      Hope that helps! :)

    • Kari says

      @ Cindy – I have been contemplating the same thing and found this blog that did paint their tub faucets no sealer . Also found this blog she did her bthrm sink faucet and did use a matte sealer She wipes it down every day which gave me a wake up call on doing this. I capital L – Love ORB but with my hard farm water I would be wiping down white calcium spots everytime. So now thinking if I can’t beat the white spots, join em and spray it antique white instead to try it out. Very dif look but knowing I need to replace my sink faucet I think I will try it. Too much outside work on the go right now so would be fall before I get to this. Let us know if you try it and how it works for you!

  26. mommyd says

    I was googling oil rubbed bronze paint and found your projects. I love your ideas, especially the vent covers!! How has the paint held up? Especially the items that get more wear like handles and the kitchen rack? I was thinking of using it on a powder-coated steel bedframe. I think I’d sand first but would probably also need a sealer?
    Thanks for the ideas!

    • Nancy says

      Thank you! :)
      Yes, the vent covers have held up fantastically! All have held up well. I think the bedframe would be fine. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to do a light sand before hand! :)
      You could also spray a sealer coat after for extra durability. I didn’t on some of my pieces though (like the vent covers, for ex)
      Have a great weekend!

  27. says

    I just sprayed my stairwell handrail with oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I have some antique door hardware in real oil rubbed bronze that do indeed have the bit of gold highlights you mentioned. Any ideas for applying a bit of gold to the handrail? As one straight pole, there aren’t any edges that would have turned gold over time, but someone’s hand using the rail might have rubbed some spots golden. I just can’t quite imagine how i would apply the gold on a totally smooth surface. I’d appreciate any help!
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    • Nancy says


      I would actually probably just rub a very light coat up and down the whole thing (maybe the outer most edge). I think in spots, may end up looking “spotty” and not the look your are after.
      Hope that helps!

  28. says

    For the frames – did you sand them a little first? I have been on the hunt for ORB framed mirrors with NO luck (locally) so this is the route I am going to go! Also since they will be in bathrooms do you recommend I seal them or will they be ok with the Rust-oleum? If I seal them – with what please? My contractor will probably advise against this but oh well! I want what I want LoL
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    • Nancy says

      Hi Sha,

      No, I did not on those. I knew they’d be up on the wall and not handled so didn’t bother.
      And oh yes, this is a really smart (and inexpensive!) way to go! Great decision.:)
      You could seal them but I’m not sure it is necessary. Just be sure to do light even coats, drying well in between.
      If you seal, they have a variety of polyurethane sealer sprays you could use. (satin, matte, etc)
      Any will do the job.

      Have fun!

  29. Dannette says

    Wow! Thanks for the ideas. I’m in the process of remodeling a 50’s bathroom that has vintage porcelain fixtures. The ORB sink faucet was expensive. I need to change the rest of the fixtures including the stainless steel garbage can, paper towel and tissue holder and switch plates. I’m definitely going to try this!

    • Nancy says

      Thank you Danette!! Oh yes, much smarter to do it this way!! Good luck and have fun remodeling! (I know most people don’t like doing that but I love it! :))
      Nancy online furniture


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