So, we bought a house that was made in the 1970’s. We’re pretty sure that nothing has really been updated since it was built aside from a few random little things. Unfortunately, that means that brass is a very common presence in the house. Actually, it’s everywhere. I hate brass. I personally think that it’s tacky. It also looks fake and it doesn’t hold up very well as you can see in this picture. There are two door knobs that are original to the house and one that the previous owner must have installed more recently.
I’ve seen a few tutorials online showing people that have painted their doorknobs, so I was thinking that I’d give it a try as a temporary fix until we replace them, if we decide we still need to after the painting. So I began my task a week ago. First I removed the door knobs and kept track of the hardware. My favorite way to keep track of where screws go is to put them back in the holes that they go in and tape them in place:
Next, I cleaned and scuffed them up in one go. I used steel wool and went at them until there was no more grossness on them and they had a good brushed texture going.
I admit, I forgot to take pictures of the door knobs as I was painting them, but here is a picture of the paint that I used, and the box that I used to set them on as I painted them. It’s important to have them set in a sturdy place that they will be able to sit for a week without being disturbed. I used a lawnmower box in our garage. I had all of the doors open as I painted as well, making sure to keep it well ventilated.
It’s also important to do 2-3 light coats of the paint as opposed to 1-2 heavier coats. If you do a heavier coat, it may begin to drip and it won’t dry properly or look good. The best method is to do a light coat, wait 30-45 minutes and do another light coat and then do another if it’s needed. After that, wait for a week. It’s important to wait as long as possible, at least a week, so that it cures enough for the heavy use that comes with doorknobs.
The finished knobs are okay, a definite step up from the brass, but I do think they’ll be a temporary solution. I much prefer a brushed nickel look, and these just can’t get that. They actually look glittery up-close. I think that I would recommend doing a clear coat sealer afterwards as well so that they feel better to the touch. This is what the finished doorknobs look like:
Here’s a close up of one of the knobs. You can see the glittery finish that this paint has. Not sure if this is a permanent solution, but the $10 or so to spruce up all of the knobs in the house is a much nicer price tag than the $8-$10 per knob that we will need to replace them completely.