How to Create a Stunning Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish


Hey there, Reader! Are you looking to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your home? Well, look no further because we have the perfect solution for you – creating an oil rubbed bronze finish. This unique finish can transform ordinary objects into stunning pieces that exude a timeless appeal. Whether you want to revamp your old fixtures or give a modern twist to your furniture, learning how to make an oil rubbed bronze finish will unlock a world of possibilities.

But before we delve into the nitty-gritty of this exciting DIY project, let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty and versatility of an oil rubbed bronze finish. The rich, dark tones combined with subtle undertones of copper and gold create a sense of luxury and warmth. This finish can turn any mundane object into a statement piece that catches the eye and adds character to any space. So, get ready to embark on a journey of creativity and discover how to make oil rubbed bronze magic happen in your own home!

how to make oil rubbed bronze finish

Choosing the Right Materials and Tools

Gather Your Supplies

Before you start your oil rubbed bronze adventure, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Object to be finished (e.g., metal fixture, furniture, or decor item)
  • Sandpaper (coarse and fine grit)
  • Acetone or paint thinner
  • Primer
  • Oil-based paint in bronze or copper
  • Oil-based glaze in a dark color (usually brown or black)
  • Brushes or foam applicators
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Protective gloves and goggles

Once you have all the necessary supplies, you’re ready to dive into the beautiful world of oil rubbed bronze finishes!

Preparing the Surface

The key to achieving a flawless oil rubbed bronze finish lies in proper surface preparation. You want to ensure that your object is clean, smooth, and free from any existing finishes or imperfections. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare the surface:

  1. Begin by removing any existing paint, varnish, or coating from the surface. Use coarse sandpaper (around 80-120 grit) to strip away the old finish. Be sure to wear protective gloves and goggles during this stage.
  2. Once the old finish is removed, switch to a finer sandpaper (around 200-400 grit) to smooth out the surface. Sand in the direction of the grain or in circular motions, depending on the object’s texture.
  3. After sanding, wipe down the surface with a lint-free cloth dampened with acetone or paint thinner. This will remove any residual dust, grease, or dirt, ensuring a clean surface for the primer to adhere to.
  4. Apply a thin, even coat of primer to the surface. This step is crucial as it creates a smooth base for the oil-based paint and enhances its adhesion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time and number of coats.

With the surface prepped and primed, you’re now ready to embark on the exciting journey of creating an oil rubbed bronze finish!

Mastering the Oil Rubbed Bronze Technique

Applying the Base Coat

Now comes the fun part – applying the base coat of oil-based paint. This coat will serve as the foundation for your oil rubbed bronze finish. Follow these steps to achieve a beautiful and even base color:

  1. Stir the oil-based paint thoroughly to ensure an even consistency. If desired, you can mix multiple shades to customize the color further.
  2. Using a brush or foam applicator, apply the paint in thin, even coats onto the primed surface. Work in small sections to maintain control and minimize streaks or brush marks.
  3. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next layer. Refer to the paint can for recommended drying times.
  4. Continue applying additional coats until you achieve the desired depth and coverage. Most oil-based paints require at least two coats for proper color saturation.

Remember, patience is key when it comes to achieving a flawless finish. Take your time, allow each coat to dry thoroughly, and enjoy watching your object transform with each layer of paint!

Add Depth and Dimension with the Glaze

Now that you have a solid base color, it’s time to create depth and dimension with the oil-based glaze. The glaze will create those characteristic dark undertones and give your finished piece that authentic oil rubbed bronze look. Follow these steps to add that extra touch of magic:

  1. Choose an oil-based glaze in a dark color that complements your base coat. Brown and black are popular choices, but you can experiment with different shades to achieve a unique effect.
  2. Apply the glaze using a brush or foam applicator, working in small sections to ensure even coverage. Spread the glaze evenly and blend it with the base coat using long, smooth strokes or circular motions.
  3. After applying the glaze, use a lint-free cloth to gently remove any excess or uneven areas. This will help maintain a consistent and balanced look.
  4. Allow the glaze to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is usually around 24-48 hours, but drying times may vary depending on the specific product.
  5. If desired, you can repeat the glazing process to intensify the depth and richness of the finish. Just remember to let each layer dry before applying the next.

With the glaze applied, you’ve unlocked the secret to achieving an exquisite oil rubbed bronze finish. Step back and admire the beauty you’ve brought to life!


Congratulations, Reader! You are now a master of the oil rubbed bronze finish. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can transform any ordinary object into a stunning piece that adds elegance and charm to your home. Whether you’re updating your light fixtures, furniture, or decor items, the mesmerizing allure of an oil rubbed bronze finish is sure to impress.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and refine your technique. Each project is an opportunity to unleash your creativity and bring your own unique touch to the oil rubbed bronze finish. So, go forth and create magnificent pieces that will leave your guests in awe!

If you enjoyed learning about how to make an oil rubbed bronze finish, be sure to check out our other articles for more inspiring DIY projects and home improvement tips. The possibilities are endless, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way!

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