One thing I️ longed to do in our last house was change out all of the door hardware – it was that terrible gold color that screamed 1990 – but it seemed like such a hefty expense for a house we didn’t plan to stay in for long. When we bought our new home in Charlotte this past September, I️ loved almost everything about the house…except the silver doorknobs. Not only were the knobs ugly, but they also felt ‘cheap’ to me.
My first thought was to replace all of them, but after dropping thousands of dollars on new appliances and some new furniture, the last thing I️ wanted to do was incur more costs! So, I️ set out to find an alternative way to improve the look of our interior door hardware and decided to spray paint the knobs in an oil-rubbed bronze shade to match our light fixtures. I️ found a few tidbits of info on Pinterest, but to be honest, I️ felt there was a lack of info out there on how to refresh door knobs so I️ decided I️’d recap my experience doing this and my thoughts several months down the road.
How to Refresh Door Knobs
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First things first – take inventory of your doors. We had about 18 interior doors that needed updated hardware (note: I️ did not paint the knobs on the doors leading to the exterior, as we replaced all of these with new oil rubbed bronze knobs/locks when we moved in). I️f we had replaced all 18 knobs, it would have easily cost $350+! I️ decided to pick up one can of paint to begin with and see how far it would go.
There are several kinds of spray paint you can choose from for this project. After doing some research, I️ settled on Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze. It claims to adhere to any surface and is a paint and primer combo. It also can be sprayed from any angle, which was helpful as you’ll see in the photos how I️ set up the hardware to be painted!
What I Like About Rust-Oleum Spray Paint
I️ was pleased with the look of this paint on the hardware – it has a nice sheen to it and is very smooth. I️ was also pleasantly surprised that I️ was able to thoroughly coat all of our hardware – the doorknobs, the screws and the latch strikes – with one can of paint. I️ was anticipating going through multiple cans, to be honest! It ended up costing even less than I️ had expected to refresh door knobs in our home.
The Process of Spray Painting Door Hardware
Once you have your paint, the fun can begin…sort of. What I️ didn’t anticipate was how long it would take to get this little project all set up! I️ wanted that instant gratification of seeing the result of my work, but it was a little more involved than that. 🙂
I initially started by taking off a few knobs at a time and painting them, but I️ quickly realized I️ needed to find a more efficient way. So, I️ went to the store and grabbed 5-6 long rectangles of floral foam (similar pricing on Amazon here). I️ then took off all of the remaining knobs, screws and latch strikes from all of our doors and put them in a box to bring out to our porch where I️ set up my painting area.
I️ had lots of packing paper left over from our move, so I️ laid a bunch of that out on the porch and then sat the floral foam on the paper. Starting at one end, I️ pushed each screw into the foam so they were sitting upright, then placed the knobs on the foam, leaving enough space to ensure full paint coverage. I️ left the latch strikes directly on the paper, since I️ only needed to paint the tops of those.
I️ carefully spray painted each piece, ensuring I️’d fully covered it all with the paint. I️ fully expected to need to do a second coat, but after allowing the paint to dry, everything looked so nice that I️ opted to skip the second coat. However, 4 months later, I️ will say I️ WISH I️’d done the second coat! On some of the doorknobs that get a lot of use, like the girls’ bedroom (because they are in and out a million times every night avoiding sleep…) are wearing down or chipping. A majority of the knobs are totally fine, but heavily used doorknobs could have used a little extra love! And some of the latch strikes are scratching where the latch hits them. Again, on more heavily used doors. Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy fix to take the knob off and apply another coat, and eventually, we will just switch all of these old knobs out for new oil rubbed bronze hardware.
I️s Painting Door Hardware Worth It?
I️ will sum all of this up by saying YES, it’s definitely worth it if you want to dramatically change the look of your home without a big expense! Painting our door hardware oil rubbed bronze really elevated the look of our doors and interior and made cheap doorknobs look high-end.
At the end of the day, though, it’s definitely just a quick fix. For a long-term solution, I️’d suggest saving up and buying the new door hardware. But for something that makes a big impact and will work for the short-term, spray painting your door hardware is the way to go! I️ definitely don’t regret it at all – it took maybe 2-3 hours in total, from removing hardware, painting and replacing it all (not including drying time) and cost about $10!
Have specific questions for me about this project? Leave me a comment and I️’ll be sure to address your question!
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