Sunday, February 27, 2011

Knob Mission

I don't know what it is that makes people paint wall paint over switches and other fixtures. It's a fairly easy process to take off existing hardware or, if that's too much to ask for whatever reason, to tape it off. The end result of your paint job is so much cleaner and nicer if you don't end up with gobs of paint covering your light switch or grate or door knob.

Originally all of the old door knobs in the Ugly Duckling were a shiny golden brass. Ugh, brass ... so not my thing but I do love the old knobs and their lovely detail. Unfortunately past generations of owners and tenants had painted them over so they were quite messy to look at, not to mention the detail that was lost. Replacement costs for any one of these door sets start around $90 and go up depending how fancy you like it. So for us and considering the sheer number of door knobs it was spray paint to the rescue!

Before: Lovely door knob in all its painted-over glory [it's the knob of the guest bedroom closet, in case you're curious]

Step 1: Remove as much old paint as possible. If you're concerned about lead paint [and it's an old house and it's good to be concerned], simply rub the handle with a bit of paint de-glosser. This will remove some of the paint, even out bigger globs and drops and prep the surface for its new coat. Tape off the door knob and escutcheon to make sure you won't get primer and paint on your door and/or surrounding wall. I cut a rectangle slightly larger than the door knob into a sheet of newspaper and taped around the edges. Prime it with black automobile primer for a long(er) lasting finish.

Step 2: When the primer is dry the door knob if ready for its second coat. I picked up a can of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint [same company as the primer] since I love the deep color and it's all the rage, coincidentally. Spray paint the knob in light even coats.

Step 3: Remove tape and paper and admire your handiwork! Ohhh, pretty! Rinse and repeat. Find other areas to spray paint :o)


  1. Wow, that's a stark difference from the gross old chipped paint before!

    How does the door handle feel? I mean, I would think it's supposed to have a nice smooth feel to it, did the spray paint make it slick?

  2. Hey!
    It's sweet, and super sweet when you think about the price tag, isn't it?
    It actually doesn't feel slick (or sticky) - maybe it's because the automobile primer when left unsanded is slightly coarse and the satin finish of the ORB spray paint smoothens it out just enough for a good grip.