Spray painting door knobs

Hey hey all! Well thank you for the kind words yesterday! :) We are very excited.

I’m back with a DIY project I’ve been wanting to tackle for a long time. I mentioned a while back that my house had been finally been debrassified, but I was wrong. I had forgotten about a couple knobs in the house. Drats.

But these were exterior door knobs that we use a key with – so replacing them meant two things: lots of $$ and since they are keyed don’t you have to make new keys when you install them? I always thought you did but maybe not. But still, lots of moola to replace two of them.

I didn’t feel like spending lots of moola so I figured I’d try out a DIY to change them up. I’ve always wondered how spray painted knobs hold up and it’s the age old question – some say they do great, some say they do horribly.

We’re about to find out. Well…in a few weeks/months anyway.

I did a couple doors with varying uses/elements so it will be interesting to see how they turn out. But first, the how to.

You take the offensive shiny thing off:

spray painting brass knobs

Ignore the horrible, dirty mud room door. And missing trim. And blinding brass.

Don’t be afraid to take the knob off – even I avoided this for years and it’s not a big deal. It's two pieces and the screws, that’s it. Just remember how they go back together and always remember the access to the screws side goes inside the room!

First up, and I think this is most important part – clean them. I just used my basic cleaning stuff but anything that will get any grime or grease off is what you want:

spray painting brass knobs

Thing is, if you don’t clean them well the primer and paint won’t hold well – you’ll get crackles (the dreaded crackle, shakes fist in air!!!!) or it will easily wear off those dirty areas.

I took them out in the garage and needed something that would allow them to stand up, so I stuck the one with the long part into a shop towel cardboard box and just laid the other one on top:

spray painting brass knobs

I later stuck the screws in there too – they stand up straight so you can spray all sides at once.

So…the primer part. Well. I have some really good (and expensive stuff) called BIN primer in a spray. But it’s a pain in the butt. I told you more about it here. I’ve tried everything to make it spray smoother but it just doesn’t work. This time my gloves and the can ended up covered in the primer:

spray primer spray primer

SO frustrating. The paint sprayed all clumpy and gross too, so I actually had to sand down the knobs a bit to help that. I’m throwing the primer out, which is annoying cause it’s not cheap.

Anyway…I ended up just using a basic black primer instead:

spray painting brass knobs

The BIN stuff is stronger, better primer, but I was tired of cussing so there you go.

Don’t they already look so much better though? SO. much. better.

I finished up with my BFF…good old ORB (that’s oil rubbed bronze for those not tight with it):

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

Hello my friend. Good to see you again.

When spray painting remember short, light coats – not long, heavy ones. There’s really not much to it if you remember that.

I took the knob off the back door too and you can see the wear on the keyed side from being outside:

spray painting brass knobs

So it will be interesting to see how these hold up – the mud room door is one we use a key on all the time, so that will get lots of wear and tear. The back door we don’t use a key on much, but the outside part gets hit with the elements. And we use both doors numerous times a day.

On the back door I took the knob off and did that first: spray painting door knobs

I didn’t want to take both off just in case something went wrong. You know I don’t have much luck with that door.

The deadbolt part was a little more tricky – we’ve been told we need to replace our whole back door (water issues) and every time I get inside there I see why. The insides of that one were rusted so it was hard to get the lock part off the outside part of the door. I just ended up spray painting the inside part.

I also took the strike plate off and sprayed that, but I know it will get scratched up – it already is. Most of it should stay the ORB color though, so we’ll see how that holds up:

spray painting door knobs

I decided to makeover that mud room door so I can’t show you the after on that one just yet. ;) But here’s how it looks on the back door:

spray painting door knobs

So here’s the thing about painting doors – this is why you really want to take the knob off before you paint. I didn’t and now the knob isn’t exactly where it used to be and you can tell. :)

I can’t wait to show you how it looks on the mud room door! LOVE how the room is coming together! There’s a long way to go but I think it’s going to be fun.

I’ll update you in a month or two and let you know how these are holding up! I’m really interested to see. Our coach lights that I spray painted still look fantastic: spray painting outdoor lights

They are exposed to the elements for sure, but no one handles them.

Have you ever tried spray painting door knobs? How did it turn out for you? I’d love to hear! I love a good experiment. :)


Update: To see how these turned out go here.