How to Paint Brushed Nickel Finish

When it comes to creating a polished nickel finish on fixtures in your home, there are several preparation steps and factors to consider when painting to get the best results. 

So if you wanted to learn more about how to paint brushed nickel finish on old door hardware and all the knobs in your home, take a look through our post below.

By the end, you’ll be left with a better idea about what the process involves so that you can give it a shot for yourself. Let’s see what’s involved…


  • Before you begin painting door hardware, door knobs or bathroom fixtures, there are several things that you need to have, and they include the following: 
  • Painter’s tape
  • A plastic drop cloth to protect the surrounding area
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Razor blade/utility knife
  • Respirator mask
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Nickel spray paint (metallic spray paint, oil-rubbed bronze or silver spray paint is great for achieving a nickel finish)
  • Automobile primer (the spray versions are best for creating a shiny chrome look)

Spray Painting Nickel Finish 

  • Start by sanding down any areas of your fixtures that have rough spots. This will ensure that the primer and spray paint can stick better for a smooth finish. Wipe away any debris or dirt with a soft cloth.
  • Next, apply your painter’s tape to any areas that you don’t want to be covered in paint.
  • Use your plastic drop cloth to cover the floor and ensure that any mess from the spray paint can be easily caught on the plastic rather than having it stain your floors. You can tape the plastic sheets to the edges of the room to ensure that it stays in place. 
  • Use the automobile primer to spray the fixture with light coats. Once the first layer has dried, you can add a second light coat of primer. 
  • Make sure to use a sweeping motion with the primer to ensure that it spreads evenly on the bathroom fixtures/door knobs.
  • Next, use your spray paint to cover the fixture using the same back-and-forth motion mentioned above. 
  • You may want to practice spray painting on a scrap piece of material to ensure that you get to grips with how much paint comes out from the can.
  • Start with the first layer and leave it to completely dry. You can then add a second layer.
  • Once you’ve spray painted in thin coats, let the fixtures dry before using a clear color coat of lacquer. A high-gloss lacquer is best for achieving that brushed nickel look. 
  • Let the fixture cure for 24 hours and you’re done! 
  • You can then remove the plastic drop cloth and clean any areas around the fixture that may have primer or spray paint on them. 

Also read: Best Paint Brushes


After reading through our post on how to create that paint-brushed nickel finish on your fixtures, we hope that you’re feeling more assured about trying it for yourself.

The steps mentioned above are easy to follow and ensure that the paint lasts for a long time. You can use these methods for spray painting brass hinges, cabinet hardware, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, and more.


How long does paint brushed nickel last?

This depends on the type of primer and spray paint that you use. However, using the methods mentioned throughout this post will ensure that your paint-brushed nickel finishes can last for over five years.

After this period of time, they may need to be repainted. 

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.