Spray Painting Door Knobs on a Budget
Buying new door hardware can be expensive! But with this easy tutorial, you’ll learn how to spray paint door knobs that are so durable they outlast the house!
What if you had an extra $200 to spend on your home? Would you rather spend it on doorknobs or something more exciting like shiplap or farmhouse wall art? Refinishing old door hardware makes a huge impact when updating the look and feel of your home.
With this tutorial and video, I show you how to spray paint door knobs that last and instantly save you money!
You won’t believe how great they look too. (Don’t forget to download my free spray painting tips and tricks by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.)
LET ME SHOW YOU:
- How much you can save by spray painting your door hardware
- An easy step-by-step tutorial for painting door knobs
- What hardware to spray paint and what NOT to paint
- The one step that ensures your doorknobs outlast the house
(As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclosure HERE).
☑️ If you are curious or in a hurry, here is a quick link to the supplies you need to spray paint your doorknobs: Supplies for Spray Painting Door Hardware
Quick Links to Information in this Post
- 1 Spray Painting Door Knobs on a Budget
- 2 The Best Supplies for Spray Painting Door Hardware
- 3 To DIY or Not to DIY: Spray Paint Door Knobs….or Buy New?
- 4 How Much You Save By Painting Door Knobs
- 5 Does Spray Painting Door Knobs Last?
- 6 Why I Opted Out of Painting Door Hinges
- 7 Refinishing Old Door Hardware with Spray Paint
- 8 Step 3: How to Clean Old Metal Hardware to Spray Paint Door Knobs
- 9 Best Deals on Door Knobs
- 10 Door Knobs: Interior
- 11 Door Knobs: Exterior
- 12 RENOVATE YOUR FAITH: God Delights in YOU
- 13 Get My Best Spray Painting Tips & Tricks
- 14 Final Thoughts About Spray Painting Door Handles and Knobs
- 15 How To Spray Paint Door Knobs, YouTube Video
- 16 How to Spray Paint Door Knobs That Last (Best Tips for Refinishing Old Door Hardware)
To DIY or Not to DIY: Spray Paint Door Knobs….or Buy New?
When we first moved into our house a few years ago, I looked into buying new doorknobs for the whole house to replace the old brass doorknobs.
I compiled my list and went to Home Depot only to realize that new doorknobs, hinges and strike plates would cost me well over $200 – money that could be better spent elsewhere in our tight home budget.
There are definitely those projects where it’s smarter to buy instead of DIY, but this wasn’t one of them!
It was then I decided the best option would be to spray paint door handles and knobs throughout the whole house. To cut costs and stay on budget, I opted to spray paint the doorknobs on the exterior doors using this same process a few years ago. They still look great so I’ll be using the same process in refinishing our old door hardware through the rest of the home!
How Much You Save By Painting Door Knobs
Here is the cost comparison of buying interior door knobs versus refinishing old door hardware for our whole house (2000 sq. ft):
Cost to Buy Door Knobs: $12 a set x 18 = $216
Cost to Spray paint Door Knobs: $13
COST SAVINGS: $213
That’s significant savings and money I’d much rather put toward more exciting items on our home to-do list.
Does Spray Painting Door Knobs Last?
As I mentioned, I spray painted the entry door hardware in our house when we first moved in a few years ago, because those were in the worst shape. In those few years, they have held up beautifully, and now that I’ve tested out this process, I recently finished refinishing the old door hardware in the rest of the house!
There is one step in this process that is critical – spray priming the door hardware with automotive primer. There was one door knob that I partially sprayed with primer because it was the one I was painting for one of the photos below.
Somehow in the process of taking photos and videoing, I never finished priming it and went on to spray paint it. What’s interesting is that is the only door knob that hasn’t help up. It’s the knob to my daughter’s room and one half is peeling – the same half I forgot to prime. That’s why priming with automotive primer is such a critical step in this process.
Why I Opted Out of Painting Door Hinges
A couple of you have asked me this question and while you probably can, I don’t think I’d recommend painting hinges on doors. I would be concerned about the constant forceful motion of the hinges eventually rubbing the paint off. So since hinges are cheap (if you get them in a set here), I opted to buy those, and I’m so glad I did!
This saved me from some extra work and the possibility of having to repaint or replace them later on if the paint chipped! Also, I decided to buy new strike plates that were already oil-rubbed bronze because I knew they would be much more likely to get scratched – hence the name! These were very cheap online: Oil Rubbed Bronze Strike Plates
Can You Spray Paint Door Hinges on Doors of Cabinets and Furniture?
If you have a piece of furniture like my china cabinet, that won’t get a ton of use you can get away with spray painting the hinges. Also, replacement hinges for vintage pieces can be hard to come by. For kitchen, cabinets, I recommend replacing them since they will get a lot of abrasive use and there’s a good chance the paint will peel eventually.
To spray paint door hinges on furniture, you can use the same process I use with the door knobs and handles.
How to Spray Paint Kitchen Handles and Drawer Pulls on Cabinets
When painting cabinet knobs, you can absolutely use this same process to help protect knobs and drawer pulls from everyday wear and tear. The added step of the automotive primer gives lots of protection for door hardware in high-traffic areas.
How to Spray Paint Hardware on Doors and Cabinets – Supplies Needed:
TSP Cleaner (optional) – I keep this on hand. You can get it at any home improvement store.
FREE Spray Painting Tips & Tricks – This free printable is available in my resource library. Get access to it and all my other free printables, templates, and wall art by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.
Refinishing Old Door Hardware with Spray Paint
Step 1: Remove the Door Hardware
Remove the hardware with a screwdriver. I used a piece of painter’s tape to label which set of knobs went with which door.
Removing the door knobs will take a little while so I used the time to listen to one of my favorite podcasts (see the list here).
Can you Spray Paint Door Knobs without Removing Them?
A reader asked if you can spray paint door knobs without removing them and while it is tempting, just take them all off to spray paint!
You can see here where I spray painted my shower using the same process and the results were amazing but even though I taped off every bit off our bathroom, there was still over-spray on our master closet shelves over 12 feet away. Just don’t risk it!
Notice I taped the part that goes into the wall because it will more than likely get scratched up anyway. That part is called the throw latch and yes, I had to look that up!
Renovated Faith: What’s in a Name?
God never leaves a project half-done…He continually works on each one of us, as a lavish expression of His amazing love and grace. So many of my DIY projects remind me of how God renovates our hearts. If you are a work-in-progress, just like I am, check out the Renovate Your Faith Devotional at the bottom of this post. Click here to get a weekly reminder of new posts by email.
Step 2: How to Paint Door Knobs (Prep Work)
Sanding is probably the most important step in preparing to spray paint door knobs but here is my tip to make it easy and quick:
I used my sander to sand down the door knobs with a fine (higher number) sanding pad like you see in the video. I believe I used a 220. This is to rough up the surface so the slick metal adheres to the paint. It only took a few minutes with my sander and was so much more effective than sandpaper alone. (Click here to see my post on how to sand furniture in less than 5 minutes.)
You’ll notice some etched places on the doorknob. These marks are not deep so the surface will still be smooth after they are spray painted.
Step 3: How to Clean Old Metal Hardware to Spray Paint Door Knobs
You are going to wipe off the hardware after sanding anyway, so you might as well wipe it off with something that will remove any grease or grime that would prevent the paint from sticking.
I mixed some TSP (click here for the current price) with water in a spray bottle according to the package directions and just wiped them clean. This step is optional but it will definitely help to ensure your paint sticks.
Getting Ready to Sell Your House?
If you are refinishing old door hardware as a means to update your house for a quick sell, you can check out one of my most popular posts. In it, I describe 25+ updates for selling your home fast and a printable home staging checklist.
Step 4: Painting Brass Hardware by Priming First
“But Karin, my paint says it has primer in it. Why do I need a separate spray primer?”
Yes, I get it! Whether your hardware is brass or coated aluminum, we want MAXIMUM adhesion so you want to take the extra step of using an automotive primer (check the current price here) so the paint really sticks to the doorknob.
The automotive primer is a much more heavy-duty version of regular primer. As you see in the video, be sure to shake the can well and spray the surface lightly. This is one of the few times that a little is better than a lot. For my BEST spray painting tips for a flawless finish every time, check out the form below.
I used boxes and some egg crate material I had on-hand to hold the door knobs in place. (You can get egg crate material at any home improvement store but styrofoam or old boxes are a cheaper option).
Don’t forget to spray the underside part of the knob.
Check the back of your can for the re-coat time. Mine said to re-coat in less than 2 hours or to wait past 48 hours. So, I waited about 30 minutes to spray paint the doorknobs.
Step 5: Spray Paint Door Knobs with Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint
After letting the primer dry a few hours, I started to paint the door knobs.
The best spray paint for doorknobs or cabinets is Rustoleum Universal Metallics (Check the current price here). They have a really nice durable finish and I’ve used this brand time after time with no complaints – even on a shower frame.
I chose the Oil-Rubbed Bronze finish but you could also do matte black, satin nickel, or a champagne gold color. There are so many options in this line to choose from.
If you are new to spray paint, no worries, my friend! You can download my free spray painting checklist that will help you spray paint like a pro in no time. See the form below!
Just spray on a light coat and then wait about 30 minutes and do another light coat to finish up.
Let them dry for 3 days. Trust me, it will be worth it!
In the meantime…
Replacing Hinges and Strike Plates
Now is a good time to replace your old hinges and strike plates while waiting for the doorknobs to dry. As I mentioned earlier in the post, these are parts of the hardware that are far more likely to be scratched. Since strike plates and hinges are both cheap, we are going to buy new ones.
For the hinges, you want to be sure to replace one at a time. Take one off, replace it, tighten it, and then replace the others one at a time. During our master bedroom makeover, I took off the door to paint, and taking all the hinges off at once made them unbalanced when I went to reinstall them. So, it would stay half-open until I took the time to adjust them.
If any of your interior doors are out of balance and have a tendency to stay half-closed, then these magnetic door stops will offer a solution without readjusting the hinges.
Step 6: Reinstall the Hardware
I reinstalled the door hardware being careful to not scratch the knobs as I screwed them in. I put a piece of painter’s tape around each knob to ensure this wouldn’t happen.
After refinishing your old door hardware, you might notice that some of the paint in the middle of the screw heads might have come off when you installed them. You can just touch up those centers with a black sharpie!
Best Deals on Door Knobs
If you decide to buy door knobs instead of replacing them, here are some options online.
RENOVATE YOUR FAITH: God Delights in YOU
This week, I’ve thought a lot about my blog’s purpose and audience. When I started this journey of blogging, I had every intention of being a faith blog with an occasional DIY or home decor post to keep things interesting.
However, I realized that what energized me the most and what made my heart the happiest was the DIY posts. With these projects, I could be creative, work with my hands, and help people by finding a better way to improve some aspect of their home.
I felt some false guilt about this. Part of me felt like a sell-out for no longer doing posts with only devotional content.
Then something interesting happened.
I start getting emails saying “I found your post about refinishing my side tables and came away with encouragement in my faith.” Or the email I got just a few minutes ago, “I was reading about tips to sell my home and the part at the end about God’s plans brought tears to my eyes.”
I realized that this little blog was not only the documentation of DIY and home decor projects, but it was a way to help people by showing them God can transform ANY life circumstance. In the same way, you take a curb-side find and restore it into a beautiful showpiece with new purpose and new life, God can repair and renew you and me.
God loves it when we use the very gifts and talents He gave us. He has given them to us for a reason and He delights in watching us enjoy them. Like a daddy watching his daughter play softball, He watches you intently saying “Atta girl (your name here)!”
So whether you are cleaning up spit-up, teaching middle schoolers, caring for your elderly parents or spray painting door knobs, know that the God of all creation takes pleasure in watching you use your gifts and calling to serve Him.
He has not forgotten about you. And He sees you, my friend.
He knows you and takes delight in watching His children enjoy the very gifts He gave them.
For more spiritual encouragement, click here for the rest of my project posts that also include Renovate Your Faith devotionals.
FAQ’s: Refinishing Old Door Hardware
Can you paint brass hardware?
Most of the hardware on our doors is metal with a synthetic brass coating. However, someone asked me if you can paint brass hardware. You can absolutely use this same process for refinishing brass doorknobs but I would still buy new hinges.
Should door knobs match hinges?
I asked this same question when refinishing my door hardware and it is really up to you. There is no hard and fast rule that door knobs should match hinges but it does look nice. Some door hinges are hardly noticeable so you might choose to leave those and replace the ones that are more noticeable.
Does spray painting door hinges last?
Like I said, spray paint door hinges doesn’t usually last as I’ve seen this on the kitchen cabinet hinges from our old house. Just bite the bullet and replace them with new. Fortunately, they are cheap with the link above!
Can you chalk paint hardware?
Someone asked me if they could chalk paint hardware. As you may know, I have some strong feelings about chalk paint (grin) but I wouldn’t paint hardware with chalk paint unless it was furniture knobs that you cleaned well, before chalk painting. Then spray paint the cabinet knobs with a clear matte sealant.
Can you spray paint exterior door knobs without removing them?
I wouldn’t spray paint interior doorknobs without removing them. But for exterior doors, as long as you taped over and covered all of the surrounding area (and I mean all of it), I don’t see why you couldn’t spray paint exterior door knobs or handles without removing them from the door.
What About Other Colors? “Can You Change Gold Door Knobs to Silver?”
A reader asked about other colors instead of just oil-rubbed bronze. Particularly she was wondering about changing brass or gold door knobs to silver. I really like Rustoleum Universal’s Satin Nickel as it is a really nice silver that is not too shiny. Just follow the same process above but with a gray automotive primer (like this one) and the silver spray paint. You can get it here: Rustoleum Metallics Matte Silver
How To Paint Around Door Knobs
If you need to paint around your door knobs without removing them, simply wrap them with my favorite painter’s tape : FrogTape for Delicate Surfaces
Now that you know the best process to ensure your hardware finish outlasts your house, go grab a screwdriver and start removing those old brass door knobs!
Get My Best Spray Painting Tips & Tricks
If you aren’t used to spray painting, I have good news! Find out all my best tips and spray painting hacks by downloading this free checklist of Spray Painting Tips and Tricks. Get the password for the library with all of my free printables including wall art, checklists, and templates by filling out this form:
Related Posts to Spray Painting Door Knobs
Final Thoughts About Spray Painting Door Handles and Knobs
Don’t forget to download my FREE Spray Painting Tips and Tricks. To get your printable, sign up for my weekly newsletter which also grants you free access to my resource library full of wall art printables, checklists, and project plans!
Before this post, you may not have realized how much money you can save by spray painting door handles and knobs instead of buying new. Considering you will have to put in the work to replace them even if you buy, it’s not that much extra effort to spray paint them. This tutorial gives you a fail-proof way to spray paint your doorknobs fast so you can use your home renovation budget on more exciting details!
I love to hear your thoughts and questions! Scroll down to leave a comment and I WILL reply! ❤️
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How To Spray Paint Door Knobs, YouTube Video
How to Spray Paint Door Knobs That Last (Best Tips for Refinishing Old Door Hardware)
Welcome to Renovated Faith, where I share about DIY projects, my faith and everything in between! When I’m not spending time with my family, you will find me redoing furniture in the garage or watering plants in my greenhouse. This blog is about transformation. Anyone can renovate a house but only God can transform our hearts!