How To Paint Door Hardware

How To Paint Door Hardware


Since we moved into our very builder’s-basic townhouse, we jumped right into the renovations, taking care of major ones first. After all the big tasks were done, small, yet annoying, things just started popping up here and there. And one of them was door hardware.

Easy door hardware update
Spray painted door hardware

It still gives me the heebie-jeebies when I look at the “before" pictures. I look at them and hear them screaming “cheeeaaaap!”, “daated!” “Eeek!”

gold knob

Finally, the time came to say bye-bye to this builder’s-basic “chic”. I mean, say goodbye to the LOOK, but not to the hardware itself. And here is what I mean by that.

As always, our goal is to complete the renovation in a budget- and eco-friendly manner.
In this post we will show you how to revamp the doors and door hardware (handles, knobs, and hinges) without having to replace them at all.

spray painted texture door hardware

What you will need:

Door Update:

2.5 inch angled paintbrush
Paint roller
Pelican bucket

Door hardware refresh:

Rust-Oleum spray paint
Toilet paper insert (cardboard roll)
Screw driver
Painter’s tape

After browsing some forums and comments on other bloggers’ posts, we figured out what mistakes people are making when spray-painting door hardware. Those mistakes may result in sticky paint, chip-offs, and a blobby look. After learning from others’ mistakes, we came up we the right way to do it. So, please follow the steps below and you will have like new pretty doors and hardware. 

1.  Remove the door

2.  Remove the hardware: knobs, plates, hinges. 

3.  Clean all removed hardware with degreaser. We used paint thinner. 

4.  Place the knobs on the toilet paper cardboard inserts; plates and hinges on the cardboard. Wrap the hinge pin with painter’s tape - you will want to spray the top of it only. Cover the deadbolt and body of the lock as well.

door knob
door hardware
door hardware

5.  We highly recommend using a respirator. This paint is oil based, so it is high in VOCs, thus we recommend a respirator. We bought this particular one, and it works great. In a closed and poorly aerated room we didn’t smell one bit of paint. It costs $30 and is worth every penny. We spray painted the hardware from 15 doors without having to replace the cartridge. When we opened it, it was covered with a thin layer of paint - you definitely don’t want to breath this stuff in.

6.  Hold the spray can at least 12” away and apply a thin coat. Depending on the paint color and texture you choose, it might take two to four coats. If you choose textured paint like we did, don’t be surprised if, at the beginning, the paint kind of folds and forms little blobs. It is supposed to be like that. With every coat it transforms into a nice texture.

spray painted door hardware

7.  Let it dry for at least 15 minutes before applying the next coat.

8.  Apply 2-3 coats or until you are satisfied with coverage and look. Remember to let the paint dry (for at least 15 minutes) in between coats. It took three coats of spray paint for a satisfactory look. 

9.  If you want to prevent sticky paint that will persist for weeks and then chip off, wait for about 48 hours after the last coat before re-installing the hardware.

Tip: Before installing the hinges, clean and spray every hinge pin with HD-40. This will prevent (or remedy) squeaky doors.


It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. So don’t overlook this part, and invest your time in refreshing the doors as well. We did it while waiting for the hardware to dry.

Also, I want to share one mistake I did while painting the doors. Just hang here with me.

a door "before" look
a door "after" look with spray painted hadrware

Choose Decent Tools

For better results, please, please, please, choose a decent quality brush and a foam roller. We used a Spurdy 2.5 inch angled brush - great quality for a reasonable price, a foam roller, and pure white glossy paint.

I also highly recommend using a Pelican paint container to work with the brush and mini roller simultaneously. It has an embedded magnet that holds the brush upright while working with the roller, and keeps the roller from sloshing around while working with the brush.

Pelican paint container
pelican paint container

There is no magic recipe for painting, just wipe down the surfaces with a damp rag and apply one or two thin coats of paint.

Lesson Learned

And here I want to share with you my mistake and the importance of working as a team.

I painted the doors during the day while Dmitri was at work. He would remove one door at a time for me so I could paint whenever I had time during the day. After I finished painting the first door, I felt so excited with the result that I decided to paint our garage door. We didn’t plan to remove it anyways due to cold weather, so I thought I could apply two coats of paint without removing it and be done with it. Well… not so much. After I applied a second coat, it still didn’t look smooth and well covered, so I applied a third, and then a fourth coat, but it still didn’t look perfect.

Dmitri always laughs at me when I am painting or using his tools. When he saw my door he just cracked up. The problem was that I used regular paint for a metal door. Your entry door and usually the garage door are not like indoor doors. In townhomes, all entry doors are usually fire-rated, which means they are made using pre-coated steel, so regular paint won’t cover them as nicely. Here is why it is important to work as a team; I should have consulted with my Mister Expert first! :) 

It doesn’t look ugly, just not perfect. At a closer look and at a certain angle and light you can see roller strokes.

For a better result a special paint for metal doors should be used. I am glad I didn’t paint our entry door, though. For the best result we will use spray paint when the weather allows us to remove the door. And I will definitely share my experience with you.

While the door and hardware are drying, work on the door frames.

Reinstall the door and hardware, and enjoy the refreshing, fine look.


Spray painted textured door hardware



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