Painted Doorknobs

Have you ever wanted to update the look of your house but didn’t want to spend a fortune? Updating your doorknobs can be one way, but buying all those knobs can be a big expense. So why not try painting them? It’s actually pretty easy.

Things you will need:

  • Steel wool
  • Rustoleum paint (such as this one, which is super popular)
  • Cardboard box or a Styrofoam sheet
  • Screwdriver
  • Time and patience. Yes, I just listed that.

First off, you’re going to want to unscrew your doorknobs from the door. Don’t try to tape it off, it just won’t work. Put the screws and two sides of the knobs in the cardboard or Styrofoam. Label them if you need to. We had, at the time, terrible brass knobs that I swear were installed when the house was built. The wear is obvious in the tarnishing. BUT, I really didn’t want to polish them all up because I wanted a different look. Something more modern. And honestly, I don’t like the oil rubbed bronze for knobs. For chandeliers and light fixtures and little decor pieces, yes, it looks great. If you do decide to go this route, I’ve read that you can use copper under the oil rubbed bronze and sand the edges (down to the copper) to give it a more realistic look. Try Pinterest! 🙂


Next, once the knobs are secure in the Styrofoam, take them piece by piece and rub them down with steel wool. You want to scratch them up so the paint will stick to the surface. Paint doesn’t stick to smooth, metallic surfaces. But using steel wool allows the paint to get into the crevices, therefore making the paint job last longer. (By the way, I’m wearing gloves because of the dust that the steel wool causes. It can embed itself in your skin and hurt).


If you have locks in your knobs, put a piece of paper in the key hole. This will keep paint out of the locking portion. Below are the before and afters of this knob.

                                                                                       Doorknobs Doorknobs

I used the hammered chestnut color. At first, I tried the antiqued bronze, but it was too grey for my taste. I wanted something warm, especially since my doors are a redish brown (wood). After rubbing them down with steel wool, begin to paint them. This is the hard part, because you have to get up under the curves of the knob. Luckily with the spray paint can, you can spray at any angle.


You only need one coat of coverage. Make sure they are completely covered. Now comes the patience. Don’t touch them for a full 24 hours! Allow them to dry completely. If you rush it, they won’t turn out right and you’ll have smudges and fingerprints. Note: remember to use spray paint in a well ventilated area. Also, try to find a spot that isn’t crazy humid (that’s the difficult part here in Oklahoma). My knobs didn’t dry completely in 24 hours because of the humidity. But once I got them in the AC, they dried quickly. Also, before you put them back in the door, be sure to twist the knob to make sure the paint didn’t seal the knob to the base plate. Do the same thing for locks.

After 24 hours, bring them back inside. Now you’re ready to put them back on the door. Do you remember which one went where?

Putting them back on can be tricky. First, place the knobs on the door and twist the screws into place with your hands.


Once you get them as tight as you can with your fingers, grab your smooth shafted screwdriver, like so:


Use it at an angle like shown above. This will keep the screwdriver from scratching up the paint job. Tighten them as tight as you can.


After that, you’re done! See, that wasn’t so hard now was it? AND the best part is that you have a new look at only the cost of one or two cans of spray paint.

Side note: I highly recommend using Lowe’s for the paint. I have found that they have more of a selection. Maybe it’s just mine, but I was very disappointed when I went to Home Depot and they didn’t have the hammered chestnut.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s