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How To Updated Door Knobs

How to Update Ugly Door Knobs With Spray Paint and Step by Step Product List and Tutorial A while back I added the vinyl house numbers to our front door and once I did that it made the ugly door handle stand out like a sore thumb, so I asked everyones opinion on what color to paint it and black was the winner. I didn’t want to remove the handle from the door so I decided to tape it off and spray paint on a calm day in hopes it would work out okay. I knew I could always use turpentine to clean up any overspray. 

How to Prep a Door Knob For PaintingHere’s what I did:

  • Wipe down the handle with TSP (let dry)
  • Wipe with liquid sand (according to the directions) and let dry
  • Paint with Rustoleum spray paint in glossy black.

I lucked out and had no overspray and it was so easy I did the other entrance door the next day. I couldn’t do them both at the same time I did still needed a door to go in and out of. 

Vinyl House Numbers Made With A SilhouetteI’m sure the door handle wasn’t noticeable or ugly to anyone who stopped by but it was a metal finish I never liked from the day we added the door, but you know how things get pushed to the back burner and left for years without doing anything about it. Well I guess it was finally time to update the look, I just couldn’t take it any more. 

How to Update Ugly Door Knobs With Spray Paint and Step by Step Product List and Tutorial I wouldn’t think a new door handle color could make such a difference but it certainly did. I think it really freshened up the look and matches the cabin more than the gold did. 

How to Update Ugly Door Knobs With Spray Paint and Step by Step Product List and Tutorial New hardware is around $80 but for a $4 can of spray paint I have a new look. I figure even if I have to give it a fresh coat of paint once a year it’s worth it. I am anxious to see how well it holds up and will report back in time.




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  1. What a difference Dawn! I love that you kept the door knob on the door! I’d love to do this to my front door!

    1. Yvonne keeping it on was so much better. I dreaded thinking I would need to take it all apart.

  2. Rita Wendt says:

    Love your painting the door knob idea. It looks great and I bet it will last longer than you think.

    1. Rita it’s been 2 weeks now and it’s holding up perfectly!

    1. Shirley I think this is a great and inexpensive trick for anyone wanting to sell a house. It updates the hardware in minutes.

  3. Looks perfect and definitely goes with the numerals and the cabin better.

    1. Debbie I agree and it didn’t take long to transform. Leaving the handle on was so much better than taking it off too.

  4. Judi Johnson says:

    What is TSP? And where can you find it and liquid sand?

    1. Judi, TSP is a pink cleaner you can find in any hardware store and you can find liquid sand in the paint department of a home improvement store.

  5. Judi Johnson says:

    Thank you for letting me know.

  6. Love the look. I agree it fits perfectly now.

    A couple of questions…

    1) Any problem with paint clogging up the lock for the key?
    2) What is the difference (benefits) between liquid sand (which I’m unfamiliar with) and just sanding the door by hand? Is one preferable?

    Thanks in advance. I’m new to the blog, but I’ll be coming back!


    1. CJ, We live in a one horse town with no crime so I’ve never even used our locks, lol. Liquid sand you just rub on like a clean, it’s so easy just like dusting where sanding an odd shaped object with sand paper is a pain. They both works the same but the liquid is fast and no dust from sanding.

      1. Thanks for the info. I’ll look into liquid sand. Sounds like a real time saver!


  7. I wondered about the paint making it so the handle wouldn’t turn. Maybe it’s just the mechanism inside that turns? Or did you move it once it was dry enough to touch?

    1. Ann I’ve never had a problem with mine at all and the paint still looks the same as the day I did it. It’s holding up wonderfully! I did nothing special, just taped it off, waited for it to dry, and started using it.

  8. Maryann Allen says:

    Dawn, that is a GREAT idea! I’m going to “try” to talk my husband into doing this to ours. All of our doors inside and out have gold door knobs and locks. They are so yucky. Thanks for the great ideas you post.

    1. Maryann it works great and holds up well too. I think I will redo the entry door this summer with a touch up, but so worth the cost.

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