Can you paint brass with Hammerite?

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 18/01/2021
There are a few reasons you may be thinking of painting brass with Hammerite, corrosion protection being one of the main reasons, but is it possible? Read on as we test it out and see if you can paint brass with Hammerite.

Can you paint brass with Hammerite?

Yes, you can. There are a few things you need to do though to get the best finish possible. The main thing you need to do is prepare the brass well before painting. To do this you will need to do two things, clean and prime.

Clean before painting

As with all things it is essential you clean the brass well before trying to paint it with Hammerite. You want to ensure all grease and grime is thoroughly removed before painting. I would recommend using some sugar soap and a damp cloth. Give everything a good scrub and try to avoid touching it once clean as you will lead behind grassy fingerprints. Depending on the reason you are painting your brass you may also want to rough up the surface a little. Obviously, if you are painting the metal to protect it with the intention of removing the paint down the line then this is a step you may want to skip. To rough up the surface of the paint you can use steel wool or high grit sandpaper to just add a few scratches to the surface of the fixture. This will give the paint a little rougher surface which it should have a better time sticking to.

Priming

Priming brass is essential before painting. Hammerite offer a special metals primer which is designed to work on brass. This primer will etch into the surface of the brass, giving the Hammerite paint a great surface to then bind to. This type of primer is called a self etching primer for reasons you can probably deduce! This will help ensure that your paint has good adhesion to the brass. Without this primer, the paint can flake and chip relatively easily. For this reason, I highly recommend using the Hammerite special metals primer to get your brass ready for painting.

Painting

Although you can now get some water-based ones most Hammerite paints are oil-based and as such have a few steps to follow when painting. Firstly ensure you are in a well-ventilated area as this paint does give off some fumes. Next, make sure you have some paintbrush cleaner on hand for when you are done. Start with a small amount of paint and build up layers. Oil-based paints are notorious for running if too much paint is used. You will have to leave your item a long time in between coats as the drying process for Hammerite can be very drawn out. Once you are finished cleaning make sure to give your brushes a really good clean with a paintbrush cleaner if you have any intention of ever using them again!

Part of our Hammerite Series

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Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!