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How to Paint Door Hardware

posted: 04/14/15
by: Brittany Walls
How to Paint Door Hardware
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How to DIY your doorknobs.
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If you live in a home that is still stuck in the 80's with shiny brass door handles and hinges, you can banish that brass and bring in the oil rubbed bronze for only a few dollars! So let's grab some spray paint and a few supplies to bring your door hardware into this decade.

  • Materials:
  • Grease Cleaner (kitchen countertop spray works fine)
  • Rag
  • Steel Wool
  • Painter's Tape
  • Can of Automotive or Metal Spray Primer
  • Can of Oil Rubbed Bronze (or whatever color you want) Spray paint
  • Plastic Sheet (old shower curtain, tarp or plastic table cloth)
  • Optional: Spray Paint Handle (keeps fingers clean and from cramping)

Removing the hardware is fairly simple, if you know what you are doing. If you need a little help, you can view THIS post to learn how to remove latches, hinges and door knobs.

It is a good idea to clean all the parts with a de-greasing spray cleaner. Removing the oils from years of handling (and from plenty of grubby kid hands) will insure a better paint adhesion on the door knobs. You can use any kitchen countertop cleaner you have on hand. Or mix some dish soap and water.

Use the painter's tape to cover any parts of the door knob that you don't want to be sprayed. The lock mechanism and latch mechanisms are best left unsprayed so they will continue to turn and work smoothly.

Spray painting is best done outside in the fresh air. I usually lay down an old tarp, sheet of plastic, or an old shower curtain underneath my objects. If you can't spray outside in the open, be sure to cover anything and everything in your work area or it will get airborne paint particles on it. (Trust me on this one - Been there, done that.)

It is helpful to have a scrap piece of cardboard to sink screws and pins into so they will stand upright.

Use an automotive or metal primer that is close to the color of your final color. Because I am going to spray my hardware with Oil Rubbed Bronze, I chose a dark gray primer instead of white. Spray your primer about 8-12 inches from your hardware. Use big sweeping motions and try not to stop in any one area or your primer could drip and puddle. Usually one coat of primer is sufficient, but you may need to flip or rotate the hardware to get all the nooks and crannies.

Once your primer has dried (usually about 10 minutes) you can spray your spray paint onto the hardware. Use the same long sweeping motions and don't fret if it doesn't cover in the first coat. I normally aim for two to three light coats of spray paint for a smoother finish with better adhesion. Be sure to let each coat dry before adding another coat.

Let the spray paint dry longer than the primer (about 20 - 30 minutes depending on the humidity that day).

It is a good idea to let your spray paint harden for a day or two before you put it to heavy use.

Enjoy your new updated door hardware and celebrate that it only cost you a few dollars!

One final note, if you happen to nick or miss a small spot on your oil rubbed bronze hardware, you can touch it up with a black sharpie marker.