How To Paint Door Hardware

February 4, 2017 10 Comments


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.

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!”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

February 18, 2017


  1. Angie ~ ambient wares

    February 8, 2017

    Those little changes make such a huge difference. It’s so bright and clean looking now 🙂 I painted one of our door’s handles YEARS ago and they’re so embarrassing now. Actually, they chipped almost immediately and it was all downhill from there. However, I’ll blame it on the fact that I was young and didn’t care so much about doing things the right way! Pinning and sharing!

    • Nadia Karpov

      February 10, 2017

      Thank you, Angie 🙂 They really look very fine now, and it has been little over a month since we painted first one and it still looks like new. I certainly will write an updated review after maybe a year or so. Or when it first chip off ))) whichever comes first! he-he.. 🙂
      Thank you for visiting!

  2. Lauren

    February 10, 2017

    Love how your project came out! I have the same knobs in my home and would love to update them! Thanks for sharing your tutorial on Craft Frenzy Friday on Mom Home Guide!

    • Nadia Karpov

      February 28, 2017

      Lauren, thank you for visiting! If you follow the steps and thoroughly prepare your hardware, it will come out beautiful!

  3. Julia Nyanyo

    February 13, 2017

    Great tips, I tried a regular spray paint on some chrome hardware in our house and it was a disaster, it all just peeled off after a few months. It seems the choice of paint makes all the difference. I am inspired to try again, thanks.

    • Nadia Karpov

      February 28, 2017

      Thank you, Julia! Hopefully next time it will work out better for you! so far we cannot be happier with results. The knobs are not sticky, no chips. Look very fresh and stylish! People don’t believe we painted them!

  4. Michelle

    February 15, 2017

    Great tips Nadia and your new/old doors and hardware look great. I have to laugh about the metal door though, I’ve done the exact same thing and after having a quite chuckle to himself hubby had to help me right too 😉

    • Nadia Karpov

      February 28, 2017

      Haha! at least I am not the only one! LOL! Thank you for visiting!

  5. Jen @ Noting Grace

    March 27, 2017

    Great, great tips! It’s so economical to spray paint your hardware instead of purchasing new! What a transformation! Thanks for linking up for I DIYed that!

    • Nadia Karpov

      April 5, 2017

      Thank you Jen! I was little concerned about practical side of it, especially after reading negative reviews about spray painting hardware. But it still looks perfect, no wear signs! thank you for your party as well!

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