Something Painted White

How To Spray-Paint Bathroom Faucets Without Removing Them

Would you believe me

if I told you that I found a fabulous mirror on the FaceBook Marketplace and it’s the entire reason I decided to spray-paint my bathroom faucets?  It’s true!  Mirrors are trouble!!!! LOL!

In normal Cindy fashion,

when I want to do something I turn to Pinterest for ideas and found several articles about spray painting faucets.  But most start by removing the faucets.  UGH! Not to mention I really don’t like spray painting because of fumes and the overspray dust that gets everywhere!  I do it when necessary…like this chandelier makeover that I did back in the day!

Anyhoo, I turned to all my awesome, and extremely creative and talented friends over on Instagram @somethingpaintedwhite and asked for their ideas!

Several told me I should try Rub ‘n Buff.  I’ve heard and seen lots of fabulous things created with this magical little tube but had never used it.

Tube of Rub N Buff

Such a tiny little tube, but I’m told it goes a long way!

I quickly discovered it’s not easy

to find..but before I could even click ‘Purchase’, I received a DM in my inbox over @somethingpaintedwhite from an incredibly sweet friend that said, “I ordered you some Rub ‘n Buff, it should arrive in the next few days.”   WHAT?!?!  Christine @yarrowshearth you are the sweetest and most generous friend ever!  Thank you!

Fast forward to the arrival of the Rub ‘n Buff…OH, HAPPY DAY!  Back to Pinterest to learn how to use it…

Step 1: SAND!

Oh for crying in the mud! I HATE SANDING!  But if you want something to turn out right you need to do it right, RIGHT?? (say right again) 🙂

So I sanded the faucet…sort of!  I did the best I could using 220 grit sandpaper!

Sanding a chrome faucet to prepare for spray paint

I really don’t enjoy sanding!

My Instagram peeps say

to apply with a, wait, a cloth, NO, WAIT, my finger!  Good grief!

Ok…so first I tried a cloth…nope, that doesn’t work for me, it feels like I’m wiping more off than on! So I tried using my finger….this seems to work quite well, mostly!  It looks horrible after the first coat but in my experience with paint, I know that’s normal. And now I look like Goldfinger!  (if you’re at least my age you may be humming that theme song right now, you’re welcome!)

First coat of rub n buff on faucet

First coats are always terrifying

Second coat…slightly better

but this stuff is so gritty and lumpy.  After the second coat dried for over 24 hours I tried sanding lightly…nope, it’s sanding it off!  UGH!!!  NOW WHAT????  Try the third coat, and use a brush this time!  Nope, the gritty and lumpy are not working for me!

faucet handle with rub n buff that is gritty and lumpy

So gritty and lumpy

Back to my friends on Instagram

(if you follow me, @somethingpaintedwhite ) you already know I enjoy chatting in stories.  Anyhow…I let everyone know what was going on and instantly found out from more than one friend that my Rub ‘n Buff must be bad because it should be smooth and creamy.  What the heck?   At this point, I’m ready to throw in the towel and buy new faucets…but that’s not very budget-friendly. However, if it comes to that…I’ll be buying these beauties!

So I went back to Plan A,  spray-paint the faucets. :/

I already had the spray paint

because I bought it when I first realized my chrome faucets don’t match my antique mirrors. I used Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Metallic Vintage Brass.  This was the closest color I could find to my mirrors.

can of spray paint, preparing to spray paint the faucets

But here’s the rub

(no not Rub ‘n Buff, I’m done with that! for now).  If I (and by I, I mean Dee) try to remove these faucets, that are original to our 17-year-old home, and something breaks, then we’ll have an even bigger mess than we started with.  So I decided to just spray paint them while they’re attached which means I need to do lots of taping and draping.  (I hate taping, and draping doesn’t sound fun either!)

I had already taped around each handle and the faucet with my blue painter’s tape before using the Rub ‘n Buff.  I tore it into small pieces so that I could make it follow the curves in my faucet and handles.

Faucet after 3rd coat of rub n buff

My taping…it gets the job done.

Then I used the plastic painter’s drop cloth

(is it still called cloth if it’s plastic?) and taped it to the wall above the mirror and to the sides as far as it would reach. I know how nasty spray paint overspray can be and didn’t want to take any chances.

Draping the sink and wall in preparation for spray painting the bathroom faucets

I cut holes in the plastic

and slipped it over the faucet and handles and then taped that down.  With the area covered I started spraying and instantly regretted this decision!  I could see spray paint dust in the air all over my bathroom! NOOOO! I freaked out and wanted to quit and crawl under my bed, but my level-headed husband walked in and said, “Why don’t we make a tent out of this plastic, and then you can just stick your hand and the spray can inside to spray the faucet!” He’s such a genius!!!

We took the bottom of the plastic

and pulled it up and over the sink and taped it to the wall above the mirror and then taped all the sides together.  My faucet was now in a little enclosed tent.

tented the entire area so that the faucet is enclosed before spray painting

I cut 3  holes in the plastic

for my hand…one in the center in front of the faucet…one on the right and one on the left.  I put my hand with the can inside and sprayed a light coat, then repeated in each hole.  I waited about 5 minutes and repeated the spraying until I felt that it was covered enough.  I did turn off the water under the sink so that I could turn the handles to spray the backside of them!

When I was finished spraying

I simply grabbed the plastic and gently pulled it off the wall and up and over the faucets…then removed all the blue tape and VOILA…Spray Painted Faucets!  As easy as 1,2,3,4,5,6…well anyway..once I figured it out it was pretty simple.

These photos show the draping process

before I spray-painted the second faucet.  I improved a bit after the first faucet and all of its problems!  I’m still mad at the Rub ‘n Buff in case you’re wondering! 😉

Draped plastic over wall, mirror and counter in preparation for spray painting

Maybe I could have just taped around the faucet after the plastic was on, but I like knowing it’s taped REAL GOOD!


slipping the plastic over the faucet and handle in preparation for spray painting the bathroom faucets

Slipping the plastic over the handle


taped and plastic around faucet so only the faucet and handles are exposed for spray painting

The second round of taping is finished!


All draped off so that faucet is enclosed in a tent for spray painting the bathroom faucets

So neat and tidy. Mostly!


faucet is enclosed with plastic and i made a cut in the plastic to put my hand with the spray can inside

The hole to put my hand through for spray painting


The moral of the story is…

go with what those who have gone before say to do!  Perhaps I should have just removed the faucets and taken them outdoors to spray paint them, but in the end, I now have spray-painted faucets that much more closely match my mirrors and really…it wasn’t that hard!

Happy Painting,


Pinterest Pin showing finished spray painted faucet

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Hi! I'm Cindy....wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast. I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk!
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2 years ago

Love this so much! You are the DIY queen and the mirror queen and the chandelier queen!

2 years ago

You did a great job on them! I’ve been wanting to do this to my faucets too! Maybe I’ll give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

Hi! I'm Cindy...

….wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast.

I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk! But I really don’t like spending a lot of money, which you probably figured out by where I like to shop.

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