DIY painted knobs can be a great $ saver. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly…
I’m not that girl who’s got a Louie on her arm. Prada? I have nada. I don’t wear expensive jewelry, and the minivan I drive, well, that’s certainly not doing a blasted thing to elevate my status, either, I suppose. I’m no Snooty Sally when it comes to a lot of things, but I do have my issues, I certainly confess. Such as?
My husband and I have moved in and out of 5 homes in less than a decade. And in each new pad, I’ve changed out EVERY. SINGLE. DOOR KNOB.
Here’s the typical knobs we had all over our current house.
Completely functional. Just very, well, brassy.
Perhaps this disdain for brass stems from the past…a dark, dark time in my life known as junior high. A time when everything “cool” looked kinda like this…
YES. Brassy hair, brassy jewelry, songs about monkeys that were brass…and we dug it. But junior high sucked, in all honesty. And as such, I DON’T DO BRASSY.
But enough teenage self-psychoanalysis. Back to door knobs and sticker shock.
Let’s do an exercise together. No sit down, it’s not THAT kind of exercise. Google “oil rubbed bronze doorknob”. I’ll wait. Now check the stats. Do you see those digits? YES, that’s $10-15 PER KNOB.
We needed 42 knobs in our house. Anyone remember how to do multiplication? Me either. Let’s break out those fancy calculator apps.
$10/knob x 42 knobs = $420
But isn’t this just putting “lipstick on a pig?” I hear you question. Yup, sure is. I like lipstick. And lipstick is undoubtedly cheaper than a new pig. I am, afterall, a very cheap knob snob. When I first considered doing this project, I searched the www, and found a great tutorial that had been done by Young House Love. I followed it. But, based on my experience, I have a couple edits.
for painted knobs you’ll need:
- Spray paint in finish of your choosing. We used oil-rubbed bronze. Note: for 42 knobs, we used2 cans.
- De-Glosser (if you follow YHL’s tutorial, you will use this, but personally, I’d SKIP this step)
- Dremel tool with optional sanding kit (this is what I’d recommend in lieu of the deglosser)
- Spray paint comfort grip/trigger – file this little tool under one of those tools you never knew you needed but LOVED once you got it. Not a requirement, but your hands will thank you 😉
how to paint door knobs:
1. Remove your old door hardware.
Usually this will simply mean removing two screws with (usually) a Phillips screwdriver.
2. Stay organized.
Make sure you keep the sets of knobs and screws together…once you have a bunch of hardware laying around, it’s easy for a set to get unpaired (if it happens, it’s not an emergency).
This is when you would do this deglossing procedurein YHL’s tutorial. I tried this step, many different ways, and in the end, I found it pretty useless. The deglosser needs to be scrubbed HARD in order for it to work at all, and even then, you end up with a patchy mess. Just skip it.
4. Enter Sandman.
If you don’t want to spring for that, its ok, just use regular ol’ sandpaper. A higher grit (400) will be less likely to scratch up your knob, BUT, it also takes longer to sand with than a more gritty (lower number) sandpaper (unless you have the Dremel tool, which is awesome).
I didn’t take any pictures using the Dremel on the doorknobs. The shot below is the same tool being used to sand down an old brass shower fixture we re-painted using the same method.
5. Time to paint!
Because of the smell and overspray, it’s always better to spray paint outdoors. Lay out some cardboard and go to town. I tried to prop the knobs up on some shims I had lying around so that I could easily get the very back (part touching the door) of the knob.
You’ll have to do a couple coats, allowing the dry time described on the can between applications. Each time you spray, you’ll want to have moved the knobs into a different position (lying on a side, upside-down, etc) to make sure the knob is well covered from all angles. *Don’t forget to paint the screwheads, as those will show when you re-install!
6. Re-install painted knobs.
After the paint has cured (again, make sure to read your paint label), re-install!
Come and visit again, anytime. We’ll leave the door(knobs) open for ya!
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