Bathroom Update: Lighting and Faucets

The bathroom is coming along…slowly. Life is interfering with my DIY-ing. But, I see routine returning and time to get some things done! In the meantime, I do have some sneak peeks and a tutorial to share. Our house was built in 1927, so we have so many home improvement projects. I love the character but with so much to do, there are definitely tight budgets and a lot of picking and choosing where money will be spent and where it won’t.
Our new lighting is installed. Anything would be an improvement, but I really love the new schoolhouse style lighting fixtures.

Bathroom lighting before…yikes!

Bad before picture…the door is new and the trim isn’t up yet…but you see the old outdated gold brass light fixture. We have total of 3 of these light fixtures in our house. Blech! (Notice the pedestal sink too. I mention more about it later.)

New bathroom lighting!

The vanity light is the most expensive transformation in this room since we’re keeping existing bathroom fixtures. But it was so worth it. (For installation: I traced the base and made a pattern on paper so it could be taped to the wall and the holes would be perfectly aligned. Mr. DIY just drilled through the paper marks. It worked! Easy installation, no measuring…just used a level to make sure the pattern was level before drilling!)

Don’t they look gorgeous with the freshly painted stripes? (More on painting stripes in this post, if you missed it.)

Then…the sink. We’re keeping the pedestal sink. It’s pretty. It’s in like-new condition although I’m certain it is fairly old and I kind of like that it has a history. It stays until big dream-remodel occurs. However the faucets presented a dilemma. Look at the set up. One faucet for cold. A separate faucet for hot. Washing hands is a challenge. It requires a back and forth motion between faucets or hoping that the hot water isn’t instant. Or, using the stopper and filling the basin to get a sink full of warm water. I imagine original home owners used it that way. I looked to replace them…but I didn’t have any luck in finding separate hot/cold faucets. Now I’m kind of glad that I didn’t.
The old faucets are solid and silver. I’m guessing these things are old. I tried looking them up. They say “volverwine”. There is an old “Wolverine” brand. ? They’re heavy and the quality is awesome. I however want oil rubbed bronze to match other fixtures in the room. I decided that my old trusty favorite DIY magic transformation technique (spray painting) was the answer.

tested the process on a gold brassy door stop. I loved the results.
This is my all time favorite spray painting project so far!

I sanded all surfaces of the faucets, drain and metal parts and chain for the plug. I used a 3M sanding block and even an emery board to get every single area. I made sure I got all areas nice and scuffed up.

(At this point…they looked beautiful and polished. I almost backed out but I felt like silver faucets and oil rubbed bronze everywhere else just didn’t “go together”. I found the courage to move on. I think it was when I dreamt of wearing brown boots with black pants.)

I washed and dried them and I taped off the areas I didn’t want painted and put the knobs in the “off” position so I wouldn’t gum up the opening/closing function.

I start by painting the underneath and sides. Each piece got a couple of lightly sprayed coats of Rustoelum Primer in “rust”. I let each coat dry at least 8 hours before applying another. Once the underside was done, I flipped and did the top and sides.

I used a piece of packing styrofoam to hold them upright.

I followed the same steps for the oil rubbed bronze spray paint. (Upside down and sides = light coats, then flip and top and sides = light coats). Once that was dry…
I used a high gloss lacquer and the same steps. It’s been drying for about a week. It’ll probably two weeks by the time all is said and done and ready for installation. Plenty of time to cure. The sink isn’t back in place but I can’t wait to see them!

This piece was easier painted when hanging.

Here is it against the porcelain:

I LOVE how they turned out. What do you think? The finish is very hard and durable. The faucets open/close without any issues. And now they match the door knobs and light fixtures. I’m happy!

Edited to answer questions:

I can’t vouch for long term durability just yet. We have many bathrooms and only 3 of us and this is a guest bath, so it won’t get tons of use and like I said, I don’t think I’d recommend giving it a scrub with an SOS pad…it’ll be something I’m really careful with when it comes to cleaning. But with the really good sanding job on it (think days of sitting while watching tv, pick it up here and there) and then leaving plenty of dry time between coats and a high gloss lacquer…it is a hard smooth finish. Keeping my fingers crossed that it stays nice!

I used:

Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer
Rustoleum Metallic Brilliant Metal Finish (oil rubbed bronze)
Valspar Lacquer Hi=Gloss (for metal)

I did at least two coats of the primer and ORB then quite a few of the lacquer. I didn’t count…I just wanted to be sure everything was protected.

I stayed back about 9-12 inches to keep the spray even and to prevent runs.
More information on painting faucets here:

I’ve admired the lighting at Schoolhouse Electric Company and Restoration Hardware but I was able to find the best price at Lighting Direct (Washington Collection).

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