Painting Door Knobs?

maryelizabeth78October 12, 2008

We currently have shiny brass knobs in our house which we bought 2 years ago. We are slowly changing out all the brass lighting fixtures and ridding the house of all brass and switching over to ORB. Eventually, I'd like to buy all new door hardware for the inside of the house but it's not in the budget right now.

My question is: Can I spray paint my knobs? If so, is there a product that is better for this job than others? Thanks!

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It they are *shiny* brass they probably have a polymer coating on them to keep them shiny. So you would need paint that work well with the coating and not metal.

No matter what you paint them with, they paint will wear off eventually or chip from the constant use door knobs get. But since you say you are replacing them eventually anyway that won't matter.

The best way to paint them is to totally dismantle them so paint does not get under the parts that move and dry and freeze them up.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 10:57AM
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What I would do is take one of the door knobs down to a paint store. Ask the experts, they'll be able to tell you what to use.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 12:25PM
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I would use a good quality primer first, then spray paint. I like the Rustoleum ORB finish. Maybe a couple coats of each, letting dry a couple days between coats.

I can't hazzard a guess how long it might last, but worth a try. I thought of doing it myself. I've used that paint on other things and love it.

I used the hammered black on a front door set, and it looks great. It was a faded, worn brass. I just took it off, cleaned it really well, primed, then painted. I also did the 2 flanking brass lanterns at that front door. I don't worry about these; they don't get a lot of handling anyway, they should be fine many years.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 12:34PM
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Just a thought. If your knobs are rally solid brass, they may have a coating on them that can be removed by boiling in diluted vinegar and dish soap. There is a product that ages brass to dark brown; I put the link below. I don't know if your knobs can be done this way or not, but you could test one. My brass back plates, once boiled, had a slimy film that came off of them. I assume that this was the lacquer, but I don't know for sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aging brass

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 1:34PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

My knobs are not solid brass, just cheap builder-grade brass colored knobs. I think I will try painting one of my closet knobs and in a couple of months evaluate the quality. I realize I won't be touching that particular knob as much as say, my pantry knob, but maybe I can get a good idea that way.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 2:34PM
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Funny you should mention the pantry knob. LOL

I was going to post that painting the knobs would probably work, but you would have problems with knobs that you use often, like the pantry knob. I have ORB, and my pantry and porch door knobs are the only knobs that are showing wear. The bronze is showing through.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 3:53PM
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newhomebuilder, did you paint yours or are they ORB originally? If you painted them, how long was it before you started to notice wear?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 8:19PM
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No, they are solid ORB. The oil is rubbing off the pantry knob and the bronze is showing through. It's pretty! However, my point was that your most used knobs would start to wear eventually. Also, I don't know how many knobs you have, but you could be in for a ton of work to paint the knobs.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 10:23PM
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I painted several cheap builder-brass knobs in my previous house when I couldn't afford to replace them and they came out well. It was not difficult and 90% of the time it took was waiting for paint to dry. I used a sanding sponge (3M makes them, they're available in any hardware store) to thoroughly scuff up the surface, because it conformed easily to the shape of the knob. Did that while watching TV. :-) I cleaned off the sanding dust with a microfiber cloth and applied a spray metal primer, allowed that to dry and applied two thin coats of Rustoleum spray paint. I let them cure for about a week before reinstalling them. In almost a year I nicked only one knob by whacking it with a ring that had lots of sharp prongs, but I sprayed some of the paint on a paper plate and touched up the nick with a Q-tip.

I also painted the hinges to match with almost the same procedure, although first I disassembled the hinges and washed them in very hot water and a degreaser (I used a citrus-based cleaner) since there was some oily residue on them. Hinges not matching the doorknobs on the same door is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. :-)

When you're ready to change out the doorknobs and hinges, check eBay - you can get "contractor packs" (usually 6 or 12) at a deep discount there.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:21AM
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