Today I am sharing how I applied an oil rubbed bronze finish to my master bath tub surround. Every house I live in I find myself doing the same thing… I decorate all the other rooms in the house and completely ignore my bedroom and master bath. I don’t know why I do this, other than not many people see it, but for some reason the rooms I’m supposed to want to escape to are largely untouched. So in an effort to create an escape, I decided to start working on the master bath, in particular the master bath tub surround which I decided to change from it’s standard builder white paint to an oil rubbed bronze.
I have a good start in the master bath already with the current fits and finishes. But when we bought this house, I was living in another state, and the house was in the framing stage. We drove down and I picked everything for the house in one day. It was my dream house, my forever house, and I had to do it all in a few hours, stick to a strict budget, and deal with the tile and bathroom lady telling me everything I picked was ugly. All in all though, it’s a nice master bath that still has room for improvement.
My master bath has slate tile with oil rubbed bronze accent tile. My vanities are a dark cherry with a black glaze and my granite tops are black. I have oil rubbed bronze fixtures. I tell you this so that you can understand why with all these darker colors, my white wood tub surround stuck out like a sore thumb. I was not given an option to match the vanities (which would have been ideal) and was a little surprised at the final walk through to see a white bath tub surround. But I paint stuff all the time so I figured I could paint it at a later date. It’s definitely later– as in four years later!!! I’m just now getting to that bath tub surround.
I started by giving it a coat of glossy black latex paint. Next I took Rub N’ Buff in Spanish copper, which really looks more like oil rubbed bronze when it goes over black paint. I mixed it with mineral spirits. This is my secret recipe for great looking oil rubbed bronze. It thins out the wax paint, and makes it easy to apply more like a regular paint. It’s a little translucent, revealing the glossy black underneath. I think it does a really nice job of mimicking the real metal oil rubbed bronze finish of my faucets. The oil rubbed bronze spray paints are a little too uniform and perfect, and my faucets have highlights and lowlights, which this paint technique allows me to recreate. Plus by using the mineral spirits, you can do a large bath tub surround with one dab of the Rub N’ Buff! It thins it out and gives it a longer working time too. I simply used a sponge brush and painted it on and as you can see, I went from stark white to oil rubbed bronze in no time. In fact it was so easy I can’t believe I waited four years to do it. While I was there I also added some to the weird area on my shower surround that is not tiled. Once again, the light color just contrasted too much and drew attention to the fact that it was an a spot that clearly should have been tiled.
Here is a before picture of the surround painted black.
Supplies include ordorless turpenoid, Rub’n Buff in Spanish Copper, and a foam brush.
Add some turpenoid to the paint tray and a dab of Rub’n Buff. Mix with brush.
Brush on following a wood pattern.
Close up of the tub surround.
Finished tub surround.
I have many plans for this bathroom this is just project one of many. Soon to come are paint, curtains, and a cornice box, just to name a few!
Have any of you ever changed your tub surround? I’d love to see what your ideas are!