If you’re interested in upgrading your bathroom fixtures but want a less expensive alternative to purchasing new ones, painting your current faucet may be a great option! But is it worth the time and energy? In this post, I’ll go over exactly how to paint a sink faucet and…is it worth it?
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Black fixtures are a modern and sleek bathroom design element. The smooth black finish has been increasing in popularity and we’ve been seeing black faucets in décor styles ranging from Scandinavian to eclectic and everything in between. It’s pretty safe to say they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon!
I’m a huge fan of black faucets and hardware because they add such a bold, beautiful contrast to white sinks and they go well with any color scheme. That’s why, when I began planning our half-bathroom renovation, a black faucet and vanity hardware were a MUST. However, I had challenged myself to stick to a minimal budget and I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good faucet! So, I embarked on a DIY project mission to find the best, most durable way to paint sink faucets and hardware.
I did a TON of research to find out how to paint a sink faucet and was determined to find the best products and methods to get a durable, long-lasting and beautifully painted faucet. I certainly didn’t want my finished product to chip or peel within the first year of painting it! The finished product turned out beautifully! However, it was far more time-consuming than I had imagined. In addition, proper ventilation was vital to being able to complete this project safely.
In this tutorial, I’ll go over what works and doesn’t work to get the best results for your painted faucet. By the end, you should know how to paint a sink faucet and… is it worth it?
Keep in mind that, while I chose to paint mine black, this method would work with any desired faucet color.
First, here are the answers to some common questions:
How long will a painted faucet last?
Using this method, your painted faucet should last for a good 5 or more years! Just follow the prep, primer, and paint instructions closely, and don’t use any abrasive cleaners.
What is the best primer to use for painting a faucet?
I recommend using automobile primer. You want something super durable to withstand everyday use. If you’re painting your faucet a lighter color, use a white or light gray automobile primer.
How long will my bathroom be inaccessible?
Plan for your bathroom to be out-of-order for at least 3 days: 1 day for all of the spraying and 48 additional hours before using. Each coat of primer and paint should be completed within an hour of the previous coat. Otherwise, your project length will be extended to 5 days.
So now: How to Paint a Sink Faucet and… Is It Worth It? I’ll start with the second part first:
Is it worth it?
Here’s the deal: a new decent-quality black sink faucet costs anywhere from $60 – $200 depending on the style and brand. If you can replace the faucet yourself, that’s great! If you don’t know how to change a sink faucet and need a plumber to do it for you, that’s an additional cost. So, the price range for purchasing and installing a new faucet can range between $60 and $300!
If you choose to paint your faucet, there are a few products you will need to purchase. If you don’t have a single one of these products lying around, the supply list would cost you around $45. However, if you already have a few of these items such as painter’s tape or a mask, your out-of-pocket costs are much less.
You’ll also want to consider some additional factors when calculating the cost of painting your faucets. The value of your time, the difficulty level compared to that of replacing the faucet, the amount of time the bathroom will be out-of-order, and whether or not you’ll have proper ventilation.
Theoretically, you could assign a dollar value to some of these factors. Let’s say that the value of your time and effort for this project is $80. If you add this value to the product costs, this increases the total for this DIY project to $125.
This is still less than some faucet models and definitely less than hiring someone to replace a new one so, it might be worth it!
All things considered, if you’ve decided to get down and dirty with some spray paint….
Here’s what you’ll need to paint your faucet:
- Painters tape
- Painters plastic
- Mask – I used a 3M brand 8511 N95 Respirator with Cool Flow Valve.
- Medium, 100-grit sandpaper
- Steel wool or microfiber cloth
- Dark Gray Automotive Primer (find it here on Amazon)
- Rust-oleum Universal Spray Paint and Primer in Black
- Clear enamel spray (find it here on Amazon)
- Recommended: A piece of scrap wood with two nails tapped into the top to hold your faucet handles
How to paint your sink faucet:
- Begin by removing the handles of your faucet and any other pieces of hardware you want to paint. You don’t need to remove the actual faucet or the drain stopper. To remove the handles, simply remove those little blue and red rubber things (no, they’re not just decorative lol). Then, insert a hex key into the hole and fit it into the set screw. Slowly turn to loosen until the handle can be lifted off the faucet. There shouldn’t be a screw or anything else to remove.
- Sand every inch of every piece you plan on painting. Sand a lot… and then sand some more! This is the key to making sure your paint and primer adhere well to the surface. Don’t skimp on the hard-to-reach pieces because this step is essential.
- Once you’ve finished sanding, go over your pieces with steel wool or a microfiber towel to completely remove any dust particles. You can use a little bit of alcohol if necessary. Clean the area around your faucet and drain also.
- Next, use pieces of painter’s tape to tape off the sink around your faucet and stopper. Check out how I use tiny pieces of tape to get right up against the curved metal. When you’ve finished this first round of taping, I suggest creating a larger taped-off circle by adding another ring of tape to the outside of your first one. This adds some additional insurance that your sink will be protected. I also recommend taping off the parts your handles originally covered and using a little circle of tape to cover the faucet aerator so it doesn’t get clogged.
- Then, lay a piece of painter’s plastic over your sink and cut some holes for your faucet and sink stopper to poke through. They don’t have to be perfect because you’ll use painter’s tape to fill the gaps and secure it down. I recommend having your plastic go up the sides of your wall and protect any other surfaces within a 3 or 4 foot radius. Spray paint dries quickly as it floats through the air so, if it does reach other surfaces, it will likely be dry and able to be dusted off.
- Now that you’re ready to paint, put on your mask and turn on a bathroom fan if you have one. I recommend spending no more than 30-45 seconds in the bathroom once you start spraying because the fumes are dangerous. You’ll need to work quickly. I HIGHLY recommend setting up a spraying station outside for your handles or other accessories.
- Begin by spraying a thin coat of the automotive primer over all surfaces. Stay about 12 inches away and use long sweeping motions. Avoid using short burst-like sprays because that could result in a rougher finish.
- Then, leave the room and let the primer dry for about 20 minutes. You can prime your handles and other hardware items outside during this time.
- Now, go in and apply a second light coat of primer to the faucet. Leave the room and apply the second coat of primer to the handles outside.
- Next, grab your black spray paint and go in for the first coat of paint. Use sweeping motions and be careful not to allow for any drips or pooling. Remember to wear your mask, open windows, and don’t spend too much time in there!
- Allow the paint to dry for a few minutes while you paint your handles.
- Repeat steps 10 and 11 for your second coating of paint.
- After you’ve completed your second coat of paint on all pieces, you can go back in for touch-up spots if necessary.
- Allow the paint to dry and the bathroom air to clear for 20-30 minutes.
- Now it’s time to apply your first coating of clear enamel! Use a sweeping motion from 10-12 inches away and then leave the room to spray your handles.
- Wait 15 minutes and then apply a second coat over everything. You’re finally done spraying! Whew! You did it!
- Wait 24 hours before removing the tape and 48 hours before replacing the handles/using the faucet.
If you happen to notice any over-spray, bleeding, or seepage of the paint onto your sink or surrounding areas after removing the tape, you can carefully try to remove it with a magic eraser or a piece of very fine sandpaper. Be careful to avoid scratching your sink or other bathroom surfaces!
One of the tricky things about these paints is that they allow re-coating within an hour but if you don’t do it within the hour, you have to wait 48 hours. It’s really important to follow these instructions to get maximum durability.
I originally applied three coats of primer on mine (you can’t have too much primer, right?) and the faucet texture became really gritty. Turns out, you can have too much primer. I ended up waiting for it to dry so I could give it a light sanding which also meant I had to wait 48 hours before applying the paint. Instant regret! Just do two light coats of primer.
Cleaning and after-care:
The durability and longevity of painted faucets and hardware are impacted significantly by the cleaning products and tools used on them. Stick with mild cleaners and soft cloths to clean painted surfaces. Avoid bleach, other harsh chemicals, and abrasive scrubbers on your beautifully painted faucet.
There you go! Now you know how to paint a sink faucet and… is it worth it? Hopefully, after reading this tutorial, I’ve helped you determine whether the time and effort it takes to paint your faucet is worth the amount of money you may end up saving.
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If you enjoyed this post, check out “How to Refinish an Old Dresser“! The tutorial goes over everything you need to know to give your dresser a makeover in just one weekend!