Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finished Doors : Re-Vamping Old Door Hardware

This post has been awhile in the making...

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my step-dad coming over and painting our doors.  When we took all of the doors off, we removed all of the hinges and door knobs too.  We wanted to refinish them with the oil rubbed bronze finish that I've used for both my Key Art and my Sewing Cabinet Makeover.  The shiny gold had to go.

After we took of ALL of the doors, ALL of the hinges, and ALL of the door handles, we scrubbed and sanded down each one.

Step 1 - Scrub and Sand
Okay, so maybe Chris scrubbed and sanded.  Details, smetails.

We have 11 interior doors and 3 pocket doors, which leads to a buzillion pieces of gold shiny hardware.

I actually attempted to do our bathroom door with the hardware still on it awhile back.  That's why you see a few pieces that are already oil rubbed bronze.  The good news was it was really hard to get it off with both scrubbing and sanding, so that made us feel great!

After we wiped down all of the sanded hardware, we spread them out into groups, and sprayed on the primer.  We used RUST-OLEUM's Clean Metal Primer.

Step 2:  Spray Primer onto hardware
 We waited until the handles were dry to touch, and then sprayed on the good stuff...the color!  We used RUST-OLEUM's Metallic all-surface paint in oil rubbed bronze.

Step 3: Spray desired color on hardware.  Step 4:  Spray protective finish over hardware.
After that had dried to the touch, we used RUST-OLEUM's Crystal Clear Enamel for a protective glossy finish.  That's where things got tricky.  It says to spray a light coat , but it really needs to be sprayed on wet (which means a heavy coat).  Otherwise, the top coat leaves a white haze over your hardware (see rainy picture below).

We let everything sit to dry completely for a few days.  We were so excited to FINALLY hang the doors (keep in mind, they were just laying all over the house...leaning on walls is dangerous with an 85 lb bundle of energy running around), and realized that we'd forgotten a minor detail.  Hinges can be seen from both the front and back.  The inside of the hinge goes along the inside of your door frame, and part of the outside of the hinge sticks out when you shut your door.  We had only sprayed one side.  Argh.

So, we went through the process of taking all of the hinges back outside and priming, coloring, and spraying the finish...again.  I left to go for a jog one evening before the color was dry, and asked Chris just to spray a top coat on the hinges in another 10 minutes.

Well, my over-achieving husband decided that he'd surprise me and spray another top coat on ALL of the hardware.  There's a problem with attempting to do anything outside for longer spurts than 10 minutes in the summer evenings here in Florida.  It's called rain.  It can be completely sunny and raining, or completely cloudy and not raining, so you just never know what you're gonna get.

This is what I came home to from my long, wet, run:

Yep, all of them looked like that.  Sigh...time to top coat, heavily, again.

The next afternoon, I took a section outside at a time, sprayed, and brought them back in.

Ah...finally.  There you are sparkly doorknobs!  SO much better!

We managed to get the doors all hung, and most of the doors hardware on before my sister got here last weekend.  We still do have a few doors with just holes in them where the door knobs should be, so hopefully we manage to get that finished up this week / weekend!

It was a pain in the butt project, no lie, but we saved so much $$ in the end.  For just the hinges, it would've cost us $10 a door to replace them.  That's $110 for all of our doors, and the hinges are the cheap part!  It cost us about $6 for the color spray can, $3.50 for the primer, and $3.50 for the clear coat finish.  We used 3 cans of color, 2 cans of finish, and 1 can of primer.

And because I know you're dying to see a good before and after...

Before : Yellow door , gold knob
After:  White door, oil rubbed bronze knob, and not decided on yet vinyl art.
What's that?  You can't see the knob so well?  All right, I'll give you a close up:

If you try this at home, make sure you:
  1. Scrub and sand your hardware.
  2. Use a primer.
  3. Use the color of your choice, made to stick to metal.
  4. Put on a heavy coat of sealer.  Be careful to not let it rain on this step!

So what do you guys think?  Do you think all of our hard work was worth it?!  We sure do!!

As always, check out my links tab at the top to see the parties I'm linking up to.  There's so many creative and fun DIY ideas out there!


  1. So much better! Icky yellow gold is so out.

  2. I saw another blogger do this too!! I totally want to do this as well! Wow! Yours look so much better!! Fabulous job!

  3. Those looks so great. Huge amount of work but way cheaper than buying all new hardware.

  4. so cool! I just spent a ton of money on my black door knobs... ugh! Yours look great!!

  5. Wow! You are certainly an ambitious and thrifty lady! They turned out great and you saved a ton! Great job!

  6. The texture is great! I love them! That looks like it was a TON of work, but you saved so much money! Great job!

  7. What a JOB!!! But so worth the effort! Great results!

  8. Oh Thank You, Thank You for the tutorial... I have been meaning to do this... now I can be a little more confident about the whole deal...
    Yours look great!!!!
    (& you've added something on the wall above :)

  9. Yup, they are really great...I was totally going to do this project over the summer, but I got scared. Now you have re-inspired me...thanks!!

  10. Isn't it funny how the little things can take so long but make a huge difference?! I love it, I bet it looks great! I really need to plan a weekend to come visit. My answer to making plans has been it'll have to wait till November but if I came soon, we could run together!

  11. What a difference! We are debrassifying our house and boy does it look a lot better. Great job on all the spray painting

  12. Great to actually see it in action! I've read about Thrifty Decor Chick doing hers too but to see it was good! One question: how do the locks work after being sprayed so many times? My only ugly knobs are on front and back doors (exterior) so it is vital the locks work! lol

  13. Thanks everyone! Kathy--yep, you caught me! I actually have the vinyl art posted in a previous post, but I added it under the picture after you sent me this too. Good catch!

    Jenny--it is amazing the knobs can make such a huge difference in a house. Definitely come soon to visit me...we have the same schedule!

    Kristi - After each round of spraying, I turned the locks to make sure that they didn't stick. A few were harder to turn, but doing this in-between each spray worked! Good luck!

  14. I'm always amazed at what difference paint makes! Your hard work really paid off, the knobs look fabulous!

  15. Those knobs are gorgeous! Where did you find your oil rubbed bronze spray paint? I can't seem to find that stuff any where!
    ~Robin (

  16. i'm voting yes on that vinyl there. i like it! i just added some to my house.

    and i am following you back!

  17. FABULOUS! I really want to try this. . .thanks for all the details and tips :)

  18. I love 'em! Sorry about the rain! How frustrating! I forwarded this on to a friend of mine who wants to do the same thing! Great job!

    I hope you can join my link party going on this weekend! Have a great night!

  19. Hi Kara--I am wanting to attempt this on our hardware at our house and I am a little afraid of how it will wear. Have you had any chipping, etc. on the finish now that you have lived with it for awhile?

    Thank you so much for your specific instructions. I priced new hardware and my husband had to get out the smelling salts.


  20. Hi Kristen - We had one chip a little on the inside when we re-installed it, but you can just take a q-tip with your spray paint on it and re-apply. Other than that, I haven't had any chipping or scratching on anything else!

    Spray painting is a much more wallet friendly option, and we're still really happy with our results! Good Luck!

  21. Thanks so much--going to do a test run today on one door to see how it goes! I am excited to get rid of all this shiny gold!


  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Fantastic job. I'm about to do my own!

  24. Beautiful! Not sure if you'll still get a comment on an older post, but in the long run, how was the durability? I've heard that paint on the part where the latch hits the strikeplate can wear away. Has this happened to your doorknobs?
    Thanks for a great tutorial!

    1. Hi Pam, still get comments! I've planned on doing a follow up post to this, but time just seems to disappear with my little girl. Some of the strikeplates have worn, but it's only on those that we didn't get put back on exactly in the same place. Where the doors are a little bit more snug is where they rub. We had removed the doors at the same time, so it was a lot lot of work to get the doors and the latches and everything put back on. Most have held up, but there are a few that are worn. Hope that helps!

    2. Thanks, Kara--that does help. I am going to give it a try! And I totally understand that your time is not your own w/a little one! If you do ever have time to do a follow up post, would love to see more pics!
      Thanks again!

  25. How do you opened the locks from the doors without the help of the locksmith, Can you please help me in knowing this ?

  26. Thanks for your post which is truly informative for us and we will surely keep visiting this website.
    Replacement Doors
    Windows And Doors Las Vegas


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