September 14, 2011

Spray Painter Anonymous {Three Dogs At Home}

Hello, my name is Traci, and I am a spray paint addict! Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward a beautiful home.

When we moved into our current home 6 years ago we had a ton of updating to do and the first thing on my hit list were all the brass fixtures. They were everywhere. So what is a girl to do? Break out the spray paint of course.

After moving into the house we changed all the exterior door hardware. We choose an Oil Rubbed Bronze finish. Now I don’t know about all of you but I have a thing about all my metal finishes matching. I had 15 interior doors. It would have cost me a fortune to replace them all.

But I didn’t have to because I knew I could paint them. Six years ago the paint companies had not jumped on the ORB band wagon yet so I had to create my own from a can of black, a can of brown and a can of copper spray paint. It was fun but time consuming, so now I usually use the one can method now.

The question I get most frequently is “when was the last time you painted your door knobs?”

And the answer is that they wear very well if you paint them correctly. They are not indestructible but they hold up very well.

This is one of the few knobs I have not painted and is still sporting its original finish. The brass coating is scratched in a few places and it simply looks worn.

Here is one of the first knobs that I painted and it has no scratches or any other flaws in its finish after 5 years of frequent use.

If you pay for brand new door hardware you expect the finish will last at least 5 years. So let me show you one of the ORB lock sets that we purchased. It started out looking like this.


And after 6 years this is what they look like. Disappointing isn’t it. And just one more reason to paint your own because now I have to paint this one too.

Here is the one of the door knobs in my laundry room. I use this knob to hang up laundry as it comes out of the drier and in the last 5 years all those hangers, some of them are wire, have only caused one scratch. And I can touch it up.

So what is my secret you ask? It is my six steps to long wearing painted knobs.

1. Proper prep-First wash the knob really well to remove any grease, oils and dirt left from all the hands that touch it. Let it dry well, water will ruin your paint job.

2. Sand lightly. You are just dulling the shiny surface. I use a fine sanding pad that is less than a 1/2 inch thick.

3. Prime-Use a primer for clean metal. I like Kyrlon. Let the primer dry thoroughly. Because it is so hot here I usually leave primed metals in the sun for a few hours. You just have to remember to let it cool off before painting.

4. It is finally time for the paint of your choice. Use several really light coats. Because the knob is round you can’t get all of the knob in one pass. It may take up to 10 different coats because each coat will not cover the entire knob. May sure you have covered all of the primer. I poke my knobs into a piece of Styrofoam so I can get all the angles.

5. Finish with a clear coat, either satin or gloss. This is like the clear polish over your colored nail polish, the clear coat gets the wear leaving the color looking great.

6. Let the paint cure. Even when paint feels dry it still needs to cure before it is completely solid. Uncured paint is still soft and easily damaged.

I put this knob back up the day that I painted it. That might have been okay if this knob was not where I hang my purse. I tried to remember to hang my purse on a different hook but old habits are hard to break. You can see where I moved the still soft paint with my purse handle.

Painting your door knobs opens up one more place to express your creativity. While I have not seen one yet I doubt turquois door knobs are far off. Let me know if you decide to go bold and paint your knobs a bright color.

Happy Spray Painting,


I love it!  Having to make your own oil rub bronzed is not an easy thing to pull off!  Great job!  Just another reason spray paint is the best invention out there... cheap and simple.  Be sure to stop by Traci's blog

You must check out the AMAZING light she found at a big box store!!  She is also going through a home renovation of her older home and she as some pretty funny stories to share!


And now let us all repeat the Spray Painters Mantra:
Friends, help me source all the items I am searching for but can not find.
Give me the vision to think outside of the box and remember the can of spray paint,
and bless me with the patience to let each of the coats dry before I move on to the next step!

Cookies and coffee are in the back! =)

If you need support for your spray painting addiction and would like to "attended" a meeting please contact me:
We always love to know other addicts, and can always use more inspiration for our projects!


Barbara@HausDesign said...

This is such a clever idea that I never would have thought of. I'm not sure about turquoise for my house, but some color on the knobs would be very fun!

Thankfully Thrifty said...

Love this! I've done this with drawer pulls. But ours didn't turn out as oil-rubbed bronze as yours. It was more of a pewter. What spray paint brand and color did you use?

e.louise said...

I have been looking into doing this for a while because our door hardware is the same ugly gold color. Thanks so much for sharing your tips!

Traci said...

Thankfully Thrifty, I originally used a dark brown (I don't remember the brand or color name), black and a copper.
I started with painting the knob solid black then I gave it a dusting of copper and then brown until I got the look I wanted. It is so much easier to use Krylon or Rustolium now that they both offer the Oil Rubber Bronze.

Lane R said...

Great instructions.

I ORB spray painted just one of our knobs when we moved in to see how it would last. My husband chipped he paint when he was screwing it back on the door, but that is an easy fix.

I haven't gotten around to all the extra harddware on the door yet. Did you take the doors off to paint the hinges? Seems like a pain.

Katherine said...

I'm curious about the hinges too...

Lindsey said...

So, I have really wanted to do this.. however, i have a glass shower and the frame that holds the glass is brushed nickle (like everything in my house)... do you think it would hold up in a shower?

Autumn said...

I wonder if baking them would help set the paint?? Or would that just ruin it? Love this idea!

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

Great idea..thanks for sharing!

Jaimie said...

We also have extremely worn brass doorknobs. They look absolutely terrible and I'm pretty sure they are 15+ years old. I suggested painting them to my husband and he said no :( So I will have to show him this post. I want to paint them satin nickel though, do you think they would hold up as well as the oil-rubbed bronze finish?

theformermiss said...

I'm slowly debrassifying my house as well! I am torn between brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze.... your ORBs may have just won me over :)

Anonymous said...

I recently sprayed all of the door hardware in my house because the old ones looked worn and just not pretty. I don't know if you have priced new door hardware lately but it's crazy expensive. 2 cans of spray paint later and they all look like new! :)

Also revamped my kitchen hardware from a dated brass look to a nice bronze.

A tip for drawer pulls, if you attach them (put the screws on) to a piece of cardboard or scrap wood they will stay up perfectly to get your spraying done.