Love, Pomegranate House


Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Okay, okay. I know, I know. I’ve been the worst blogger this summer! I promise I’m starting to get back into the swing of things! It isn’t that I haven’t been DIY-ing. In fact, I’ve been DIY-ing my butt off. But most of the things are things you guys wouldn’t be interested in. Let me just say that I’m pretty sure there is 15 miles of trim in this house. And there is only many posts you can do on painting trim.

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs via Love, Pomegranate house

Moving on. I, like many of you, inherited lovely icky brassy doorknobs. Though my knobs weren’t just icky because they were brassy. They are also coated in a mixture of dog hair, paint, and some unidentified grease. Ick. Double ick. Triple ick! They needed some serious TLC. And not the TLC where you are nice and kind and give them a little wipe and an encouraging word. The kind of TLC where you scrub and scratch and grumble until you think you will rub your reflection right off. I meant business. So me and my DIY bestie {aka spray paint} got to work updating old brass doorknobs into a thing of beauty.

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Here are my original doors in all their beauty. Not too bad. A super knicked and scratched cream door with brassy knobs {and by “-“knobs” I don’t mean “knobs”… I mean knobs. Though I guess that doorknobs are the boobs of the door…}.  They were totally livable. But, as I said before, I’ve been painting trim. And when trim in the hallways goes from cream to white, the doors have to too. So I’ve been taking doors off hinges and praying that no one stops by and has to use the bathroom since there is a minor privacy issue now… you know… no door. And while the doors are getting painted {5 down! 11 bajillion to go!} with the same technique as I used for our front door, I am taking advantage and painting that hardware!

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Your first step to update your knobs is to remove them from your door. Some people are talented enough to tape it off and just spray paint while it is on the door. Not me. I’m a bit of a messy painter. So I pull them off. Just grab a screwdriver and remove all screws, taking note of how it is put together. Don’t forget to remove the strike plate and face plate too.

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Since my hardware was so filthy and paint spattered, I had to scrub away all of the paint. Just grab a scrubby sponge and get that arm workout! If your knobs aren’t bad, then just give them a good wipe down, removing any hand oil that may have built up. 

Now here is where I differ from some people. I’ve read on some tutorials that you should sand down your knobs before spray painting. And others say it isn’t necessary. So, since I’m lazy, I didn’t sand mine. It is the same technique I used when I updated our front door hardware and so far it has held up great! I’ll let you know if things change. But for me… I didn’t want to waste my time sanding them if I might not have to. Call me Mrs. Lazy McSweatpants.

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

I have a technique when it comes to spray painting my knobs. One that I find invaluable. First, get a box. Second, cut a hole in that box. {No. I am not channeling a certain SNL/Justin Timberlake song is now playing in my head… get your minds out of the gutter, people!} Third, push the hardware through the hole so it stands up, allowing for easier spray painting. I swear by this method. Of course, you don’t have to use a box, you can also use an old styrofoam cup or anything really that allows you to stand your knobs up on their end without tipping over. Don’t forget to put your screws in there too so that you don’t have weird brassy screws in your pretty new doorknobs.

Begin spray painting with light, even coats. It is better to have a nice smooth finish after 3 thin coats than to save time and have a globby mess with 1 thick coat. Thin coats, people, thin coats. Plus, thin coats ensure that you won’t jam up the locking mechanisms with too much paint. I used my favorite Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint by Rustoleum.

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Once your coats have dried, you will have to paint the bottom of the knob. This part gets messy. You can’t really balance the knob on its top {unless you are magical, and if that is the case… please teach me!} so you have to hold it. If you don’t like paint all over your hand, wear a glove. Here at Casa Palmer, it isn’t a good day unless I’m covered in paint. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, thin coats. Do as many as necessary to cover up all that brass.

**UPDATE: Many of my wonderful readers have recommended that you finish off the knobs with 1 or 2 coats of a clear protective finish, like this one. That can help it to not chip in the future! Thanks everyone! I totally forgot that I did in fact do that on my front door hardware and it looks fantastic!**

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Once all the hardware is dry, reassemble it back onto your door.

Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

Now stand back and marvel at how amazing it is that changing a little thing like a doorknob can make such a huge impact. Love! So like I said, I’m making progress. Five doors now have been painted bright white and have fancy updated hardware. And I’m seriously LOVING the difference.

Do you have brassy old doorknobs? Would you spray paint them?


Share the Love...
Posted in Decor, DIY | Tagged , | 39 Comments |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

39 thoughts on “Updated Old Brass Doorknobs

    • Thanks so much, Heather! I totally forgot that I did that on my front door hardware and forgot to do it on some of these others. *Sigh*. Time to remove them and fix that! 😉

  1. I did that on 2 doors a couple of years ago. Overtime, with use, the spray paint scratched off. Is there a way to prevent this?

    • I actually just updated the post and that may help you! You can finish off with 1 or 2 coats of a clear protective finish to help stop it from chipping!

  2. Looks great! I am in the process of painting all of my trim in my house too. It is oak and I am going white. Next up new interior doors or add trim to fancy them up a bit. My current doors are solid with no detailing whatsoever! Then, I plan on painting my hardware with the same paint! Yours look so good it is motivating me to “get r done”. LOL

  3. I have seen these tutorials so far, but I am always skeptical on how well it holds up. I hate, hate, hate the brass in our house, but we cannot afford new knobs and that just seems a silly thing to spend money on anyways.

    How long does this entire process take? I think about the amount of knobs/hinges/handles we have in this house and that’s what keeps me from trying this.
    Rocky Mountain Mama recently posted..Lila’s Rainbow Birthday CelebrationMy Profile

  4. How did you do the hinges? 🙂 Those still are sticking out on my newly finished doors, but I didn’t want to take the door off of the door frame…suggestions?

    • I did take the door off it’s hinges and sprayed the hinges. I didn’t want to mention it because I’m not sure how they will hold up. I don’t know how you could paint them without taking them off your door. If you figure out an easier way, let me know! Good luck!

      • I’ve heard taking one hinge at a time off works great (ie take all of the top hinges off every door first etc). I’m going to try that when I do mine next week! The only issue I’ve heard with hinges is the grease on the pins.. Hopefully that’s not an issue!

  5. Try using a short (2 inch) piece of pvc pipe to balance the doorknobs when you are painting the bottoms.
    Btw, they look great. Wish I had your drive to do so much work!

  6. Can I even tell you how much I love this!!! My house is riddled with brass doorknobs…looks like a great honey do project! Pinning and found you on Somewhat Simple!

    We’re also hosting a link party, our SUPER SUNDAY Link Party is live through Tuesday evening, stop on over!

    Who Needs A Cape? (Not Your Average Super Moms!)

  7. Talitha,

    I can TOTALLY relate to the whole white trim, cream doors thing. All of our doors need to be painted but I haven’t mustered up the energy to do the enormous job. Not to mention that with five kids roaming around we need all of the bathroom privacy we can get! 🙂 Great job on the knobs and thanks for linking up at the Inspiration Gallery!

    Sarah @ An Inviting Home recently posted..Our Not So Picture Perfect Family Series: Hannah’s Family!My Profile

  8. I got this post JUST in time! I will be using the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze on my kitchen hardware, door knobs,hinges, and chandelier over the next month. Thanks for the tips. Oh and I agree–it’s not a good unless I am covered in paint or some other craft goo.

  9. This is amazing! I never thought of doing this and I HATE my old doorknobs! Thank you so much- I can’t wait to do this update myself!

  10. Pinning this! We’re looking for a house right now, and after years and years of ugly apartment fixtures, this will be one of the first updates on my list! You did a lovely job!

  11. What a great idea! I have nothing but old brass knobs throughout my house and haven’t replaced them do to the HUGE cost it would be. This is the best idea ever! This will make a great weekend project for the hubby and I!

    The Kitchen is My Dance Floor

  12. Pingback: Apple Cider Caramels I Heart Nap Time | I Heart Nap Time - Easy recipes, DIY crafts, Homemaking

  13. I wanted to let you know I’m going to give this a try. We are also in the process of de-brassifying our house. The thought of the cost for replacing 15 door knobs led me to search if painting them could be done. I will definitely try the clear coat to protect the finish. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  14. I’ve used your instructions as I am working on de-brassifying my house. For my work station I used a styrofoam cooler courtesy of Omaha Steaks. I knew I keep those around for a reason. For the knob without it’s own support system, I put a hole through the styrofoam with a screwdriver and put a thin dowel through the hole. That became the perch for the knob. I put a narrow block of wood under the hinges to keep them elevated so the wouldn’t stick. My first set looks marvelous and I can’t wait to get started on the rest. I have 16 sets of knobs and hinges so this is going to save a ton of money. Thanks for the great article.

  15. Hello, I love this diy and cant wait to paint my knobs. I was wondering if you have tried this technique on brass ceiling fans? Do u think it is possible this would work on them as well?

  16. Hi Talitha,

    I just did this for 18, that’s right, 18 door knobs…I did about 4 to 5 at a time over a 3-day period. I didn’t use the clearcoat, so I am going to risk it and will respray and add clear coat as they wear down. One thing I did differently was spent about $70 for hinges and strike plates (for 18 doors) purchasing them on amazon. I figured that is worth the expense so that there is no sticky, scratched up hinges and strike plates. Cross your fingers this holds up. I like the posts about it holding up for 2+ years before needing touch ups. Good luck DIY-ers.

  17. Ugh… Just replaced all my door knobs TODAY!! Then I found this website and showed it to my hubby… It has inspired us to try the paint on some other hardware before spending hundreds replacing it! Thank you!!

  18. I Hate HAte HATE OAK / BRASS….
    Painted ALL the oak white.. doors, baseboards, etc..

    Spray Painted ALL the brass .. lights,doorknobs, faucets, towel bars, shower bars, bath light bars, shower trim, etc…
    Valspar Brushed Nickel with CLEAR GLOSS Rustoleum Acrylic Lacquer topcoats ..
    Of All the brushed Nickels.. It looks the most realistic..
    Krylon Satin Nickel is too blah… Rustoleum Universal too Glittery..

    IF I were to do over again? I’d use Rustoleum Dark Steel, or Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Nickel Metallic Enamel Spray Paint with Clear GLOSS topcoats..