Monday, 12 October 2015

Spray paint your old door knobs and it'll look like you have brand new doors!

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I've been staring at these little screws for almost a month now. Twisting them snug into old cardboard that is now drenched in black paint by this point, and watching in awe as the spray of black over them instantly transforms them into something new. 

Spray paint and I are pretty much best friends by this point. This magic paint transforms everything and anything from old to new. From ugly to beautiful--in only a matter of minutes. Instant gratification at it's finest. And I love it. 

From painting all of our kids dressers (bought each for about $40 or less) this one...

to transforming chandeliers from dark brown to crystal white, to painting our dark mirror to a light white--spray paint can pretty much do it all. 

So when we moved into our new house last summer and we were faced with a million gold door knobs staring at us every time that we opened a door, I knew I had to figure something out. Gold and I are not exactly on the same page--but I found out very quickly that if I wanted to change out all of our gold door knobs and hardware it was going to cost us a fortune. A really cheap set of door knobs was about $40 for one knob, and the ones that actually looked nice were even more ridiculously expensive. So as I started calculating how much it would cost for us to change out all of those gold knobs...well I pretty much shut the idea down in a quick minute. 

Until I did a little digging online, and discovered that spray paint could be the answer to all of my gold problems. And after doing even more research into it, I discovered that people have spray painted their knobs and they held up for YEARS. Maybe a few scratches or wear marks here and there after a long period of time from doors that were used constantly, like the front door (which could be easily touched up by spraying some paint into a bowl and using a tiny paintbrush to fix it)... but overall, the results from others who have tried this have told me that the spray paint holds up for a good while. So, for me, it was worth a shot. 

But you can't just use any spray has to be THIS spray paint. 

So for about $10 a can, you've got yourself a bunch of new looking knobs and hardware. 
Which means that you can go from these goldies...

to these black beauties. 

And you can go from these worn out, gold hinges and screws...

to these brand new looking ones...

in only a matter of minutes. 

And you can go from doors that look like this...

to doors that look like THIS.

I can't even tell you how happy my doors make me now. I mean, really--ridiculously happy. 

And no, it hasn't been easy. I wouldn't even call it fun. But I'm so glad that I did it. 

So for all of those mornings where I'd wake up after being up literally all night long with Sophia, I'd splash some water on my face, get the drill out, take a door off and carry myself a nice ol' heavy door right down the stairs and into the garage, ready to be painted at some point during the day. And then when the baby went down for a nap, Carter and I would work together and I'd fulfil his daily dream of being able to use power tools and he would push the button on the drill (and be THRILLED) and we'd take every last screw out of those hinges and race to get them outside so I could spray paint them when he went down for quiet time that afternoon. Or there were MANY nights when I'd be out in the garage at 10pm painting away, because having little kids means that you have to do pretty much everything when they're asleep. 

So, sure, this was a tedious job. 

But, the good news is that if your doors are already beautifully white, this little job will take you no time at all. Spray painting door knobs and hardware is easy and fun. But painting every single door in your house and all of the door frames is NOT fun. But it was a must for us, since every door was at one point years ago painted a dingy, creamy white--not exactly the look we were going for. So I painted them all a crisp, stark white...and they now look beautiful.

So, in a quick nutshell, here is how I did it:

First of all, start by NEVER counting how many doors you have in your house...or you just won't even start this project. Because it turns out I had 21 to do--and I only started counting once I got to about the 15th door and I was starting to lose steam. So spare yourself some grief and just don't even count. Because the good news is that it was TOTALLY worth it. So, hang in there with me...

This is what you have to do: 

Start by choosing a door that is not necessarily a main door--so I chose one of the kids closet doors as my starting point (my practice door) since I didn't know what I was doing and if I was going to mess up a door it may as well be one that wasn't really noticeable..tucked away in a bedroom. And I'd suggest doing just one (maybe two) doors a day. Don't just start to take all of your doors off or you'll get all of the hardware mixed up and you'll be overwhelmed and it'll just be a mess. So a door a day is how I managed it. Mainly since I knew I'd be doing this by myself during the day when Terry was at work and when I had both Carter and Sophia to look after. So one door a day was all that I could manage. 

Once you have taken your hardware and knobs off, take them outside and put them on cardboard. 

and (it only took me about 12 doors to figure this one out)...but it's much easier to spray paint the knobs that don't have the little metal pole sticking out of them (like this one below) if you put them on an old cup or toilet roll holder. This way you can get underneath and spray the entire knob more evenly.

A few tips: Take your time. Don't spray too close to the knob and don't spray when there is wind. Spray them, then walk away. Don't try to fix a spray paint mistake over and over again when the knob is wet or you'll end up with a ton of spray paint dripping from your knob (true story)--but hey, if you mess it up, the good news is that if it dries and you think you've completely ruined your knob (another true story), have no fear! ..just get some steel wool and scrape it off running it under hot water. The paint will all come off and you'll be good as gold (pun intended), and you can start over again. 

Make sure you spray once, then wait until they dry and come back and do a second coat. Once you have finished your second coat leave them to dry over night (at least). They will still be a bit tacky for a few days, so just handle them carefully and don't use them a ton in those first few days if you have already put them back on your doors. The longer they have to sit, the better. 

You'll get a feel for how to get an even coat on the knobs after doing a few, so just be patient and take your time. 

Because, when you're done, it will look like you have brand new doors. Because spray paint is flippin' magical. 

Thanks dad and Terry for helping me to put all of these millions of doors back on. I couldn't have done it without you.

Happy painting everyone!! 
Erica xo 


  1. WOW! I have a house full of those shiny gold knobs and I hate them. This was such a simple and inexpensive idea that I can not wait until the weekend to rip mine off the doors and get started. I am going for the exact same look as yours because it matches the paint scheme in every room of the house.

    Giovanni @ Coastal Contract Hardware

  2. This is a neat idea! I like the shine that you have on the door knobs from the bronze paint. The hinges also look completely different without all of the rust that was on them before. It's amazing what a can of spray paint did for your home in only a short time.

    Christine @ Pop-A-Lock of Albuquerque

  3. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!


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