A Long Overdue After – the Painted Brass Bed

Do y’all remember long, LONG, ago… when I asked for your help in deciding what to do with a brass bed I got from a neighbor moving out of state?  Unless you have a superhuman memory, I’m sure you don’t!  My original post is here, so if you want to really get the full story, go back and read it first.  For those that prefer the Cliff Notes version… I’ve wanted a metal bed for Jack’s room and found one through a neighbor.  Loved the size, loved the feel of the bed, CRINGED at the bright brassy finish.  But I couldn’t decide how to refinish the bed, so I asked for help.  And help I got!  Thanks to the encouragement from those that commented on the blog entry (and those that stopped me on my way into preschool, the grocery store and the tennis courts to give their opinion), I knew what I needed to do with that bed.

Storywood Designs spray paint oil rubbed bronze metal bed

I decided to paint the bed in an antique bronze finish.  Now, y’all know I love a pretty painted piece of furniture…. so it was hard for me not to paint that bed a glossy, bright red.  There were pictures on pinterest, on Houzz and on other blogs of red metal beds and they were GORGEOUS!  My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw some of them.  But I really felt like the antique bronze would stay with him a lot longer than the red.  I felt like it would be easy to incorporate the antique bronze bed into his room as he grows.  Of course, if Jack doesn’t stop jumping on his bed, it’s not going to matter because the poor thing is going to fall apart in 6 months.  But we’re working on that…

Storywood Designs spray paint oil rubbed bronze metal bed

So I cleaned the bed’s headboard and footboard really well, scuffed it up with some sandpaper and dragged it out into the natural area in the front yard and propped it up against some trees.  I went to Home Depot and bought 6,032 cans of automotive primer and Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  Did you know that they ID you now when you buy spray paint?  At least I think they do… maybe they just ID you when you buy 6,032 cans of spray paint and you’re being checked out of Home Depot by a 17-year-old child.  Maybe that 17-year-old child just likes to demand an ID from an obviously middle-aged mom buying an obscene amount of spray paint…

I brought my hoard of spray paint home and started priming the headboard and footboard.  I primed one side, walked away to let it dry, came back, flipped it and repeated the process…. again and again and again.  I was trying to be careful about doing light coats on the bed, so it took a few passes with the primer to really get it covered.  Then I repeated the process with the Oil Rubbed Bronze.  AND THEN, I repeated the process with a sealer.  Since the bed is going in Jack’s room, and Jack, bless him, is my whirling tornado child; I knew the bed needed to be well protected.

Storywood Designs spray paint oil rubbed bronze metal bed

It was a long painting process but easy and I loved watching the transformation occur.  I forgot how fun it is to work with spray paint!  I can’t find a sprayer I love to save my life, but I had a blast transforming this old metal bed with my 6,032 cans of spray paint.  Thanks for all the advice and I hope you’re as happy with the after as I am!


  1. Holly, It is gorgeous!! Jack will get many years of use. :) Love your blog~

    • Thank you Christy! He’s going to get many years of use out of it whether he likes it or not… but right now he requires a daily reminder that it’s not a trampoline!

  2. Adorable Holly! It really transforms the room! I have an old iron bed that has 4 layers of chipped paint from my great grandmothers house. I kind of like the old worn look, but you have inspired me to try something a little different!

    • Thank you Amy! I would love to see your old iron bed – I bet it is gorgeous with all the layers of paint… but I’m sure it would be beautiful in Oil Rubbed Bronze as well!

  3. I love everything about this room – the perfect blend of vintage and traditional and a little modern. Thanks so much for sharing it at our link party. Take care, Laura

    • Thank you Laura – what a nice thing to say! I’ve had fun putting his room together. Thanks for hosting such a fun link party!

  4. Kimberly Bruhn says:

    Ding, ding, ding…now I know what I need to do to the iron feet on our Craigslist tub. Love the Oil Rubbed Bronze! I used it a couple years ago on a door knob set…should have sealed it like you…but it kind of looks cool (I’m telling myself that, anyway) with the old gold/brass peeking through the edges where it’s rubbed off. The bed looks perfect and I agree about it lasting a few years more than red. My teen-age boys (16 & 15) still have their hunter green beds that need a re-do, but really? When can you do a bed that’s needed for sleeping? Baby steps. Baby steps. I enjoy your blog and inspiration. Thanks!

    • Thank you Kimberly! That was a big part of my decision – I knew it’d be easier to paint one color now than to disassemble and drag it out to paint again in a few years. I bet the brass peeking through your door knob is beautiful… naturally patina’ed!

  5. Your boy’s room is so darling … and that spray painted bed frames is amazing! Love, love it!

    Thanks so much for sharing at our spray paint link party!



    • Thank you Linda! He’s my dreamer and right now he wants to be an atronaut, so the planes are suit him well. Love some spray paint… fun party!

  6. That looks great! And if you decide to put it in a grown-up room (or sell it) you won’t have to change it a bit. Such a cute boys room. I’ve got a white bed that I want to change to this color now. ~ Angie

  7. That looks great, Holly! And I really love the old school desk in Jack’s room. Is that a twin or a full bed?

  8. Christi says:

    Hello Holly. I’m about to bite the bullet and paint a brass headboard. Since it’s been a while since you painted your son’s bed, can you tell me how the paint has held up? Any chipping or peeling or anything?

  9. I too have a bronze bed I am about to repaint. I was wondering what kind of primer you used. Everything I read recommends a self-etching primer. Did you use this also?

  10. I painted my yellow gold shower frame and all the faucets oil rubbed bronze this weekend and did not use primer nor did I use sandpaper and it looks awesome. The lady I took notes from on Pinterest said hers is still looking beautiful after 18 months. Just an FYi
    Jacks bed looks awesome :)

  11. I love this! I can’t wait to try on the brass headboard I was given. Did you use rustolem metallic oil rub spray paint?


  1. […] with keeping clean.  The boys each have their own bedrooms (you can see snippets of both here and here), we have our bedroom and we have a large playroom that is accessed through our master or up the […]

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