Changing the appearance of steel or other metal to an oil-rubbed bronze requires several layers of spray paint to be applied. The process should be completed in a well-ventilated area wearing a protective face mask. The steel item should be suspended if it is a three-dimensional piece to ensure all areas are coated evenly.
Colors of Spray Paint
Use black, copper and oil rubbed bronze spray paint to turn the finish of a steel object into a faux oil rubbed bronze finish. Test the spray paint on a similar piece of metal before beginning on the actual project. Adjust the colors of the paint at this point so the project will not have to be completed more than once.
Preparing the Item
Clean the steel item thoroughly with soap and water. Suspend the item in a well-ventilated area. Place newspaper or plastic garbage bags on the floor to protect from the overspray. Lay the steel item on the newspaper or plastic garbage bags if the item is flat. Tape off any areas with masking tape that do not require the oil rubbed bronze finish.
Applying the Faux Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish
Apply three thin layers of black primer to the item. Prevent over-spray by using short, sweeping strokes. Let dry thoroughly before continuing. Then do the same with copper paint.
Apply a very thin coat of oil rubbed bronze paint over the entire surface. The copper paint should show through. Examine the steel item to determine if more oil rubbed bronze paint is needed for the desired look. Add additional, very thin coats of oil rubbed bronze paint until the surface has the desired color. Let dry thoroughly before moving. Remove any masking tape before hanging.
Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."