Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spray Painted Hardware–What Works? What Doesn’t?

Okay, people. Here it is … a follow up to the 'Refurbishing Hardware' blog post, where I spray painted every shred of brass in my house using Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint . Y’all have asked. I have listened … and put off this post simply because it’s a tedious one. However, by far the most frequently asked question(s) is/are: “So … how are the door knobs holding up?” or “So, how’s the shower holding up?”


Here is my detailed response. I have not touched up any of these pictures. There are tricks to saving tons of $$$$ spray painting your door knobs, locks, latches, bathroom fixtures, light fixtures, etc. However, there are things that you DO NOT want to spray paint and it’s better to spend just a little money to replace those with the real thing.


Here we go.

how to spray paint hardware door knobs shower bathroom fixtures faucets with rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint

First of all … the one thing we noticed very quickly was that the catch/latch on all of our doors quickly looked like this, after opening/shutting the doors a few times:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware 12

See that little brass strip? Yeah. Not a huge deal. In my opinion, it’s still way better than the whole thing being brass. HOWEVER. There is a very simple and inexpensive fix for this.


rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware door latches 2

Home Depot sells packages of JUST the door latches!!!!! They come in packs of 2 … and I think they were $2.48. Do yourself a favor. Buy one for every door latch. At around a dollar each, I promise, it is money well spent.


rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware door knobs 5

Bam. No more annoying strip of brass. Easy Peasy.

Next, all but two of my bedroom/bathroom/closet doors look like this (still, 18 months later):

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint door knob style with cents

Still in 100% perfect condition … these door knobs (to inside doors) are absolutely worth spray painting. They hold up well. Zero problems. No complaints. (Saves you around $15-$20 per door knob)

However … the powder bathroom door knob (which gets used about 25x more than the average home’s powder bathroom door knob because I have a preschool in my house) looks like this (Ignore my dirty door … I’m doing you a favor here):

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint powder bath door knob lock style with cents

See that little bit of paint wearing off around the lock? Does it bother you? If so … buy a replacement. If you’re like me, this totally doesn’t bother you … because it just looks like it was antiqued. I’m not crazy. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the ‘real deal’ and lots of those door knobs look slightly antiqued.

Moving on.

Here is my bathroom, today … 18 months after the renovation (thanks for making me clean it!) :

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware bathroom shower 8

Boom. Still looks the same today as it did 18 months ago.

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint hardware bathroom vanity faucet 7

Was spray painting the cabinets worth it? Absolutely.

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware bathroom shower faucet 6

Did the sink/bath tub faucet handles hold up? Sure did.

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware shower 10

Was all that tedious work of painting the shower trim worth it? AITCH YES, people!!! Best two week project we’ve ever done!!

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware 13

Are there areas that don’t hold up? Um. Yes. But, pretty much only the shower door handle where it catches when it gets opened and closed. (Please note: just as before, the spray painted shower door handle holds onto soap scum just like it would if it wasn’t spray painted!! BONUS.)

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware shower9

Do I care about that? NOPE. Why? Because you can’t see it when the shower door is closed!! Winning, people!!!

**However, Superman told me that you can buy one of these door handles at Home Depot, in oil rubbed bronze finish, for cheap. Maybe someday I’ll decide it’s worth a few bucks. Who knows?


Just keep swimming.

Remember the light fixture out front? This one:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint front light before after

Well. It still looks just like that. Here. Look:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint porch light style with cents

Okay. There’s some dust on it. And a few water spots on the glass. Sue me, people.

This chandelier:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint builder grade chandelier 3

Still looks the same … it just houses a little more dust than it did back then. ;) (I’m too lazy to take a new picture)

How about the light switch plates?


rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint light switch cover style with cents

Outlet covers?


rustoleum oil rubbed bronze outlet cover style with cents

And now, my friends … here is what you will want to spend money actually replacing ………

Front Door Hardware (Please over look the fact that I desperately need to paint my front door/trim. K, thanks.) :

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware 19

Um. Yeah. With the heavy use (and need for a key), I recommend just spending the money on this one. I found an oil rubbed bronze finished front door hardware set at Home Depot that I liked for only $93. But. It’s still $93. And, my scratched door still works … so … I’m not running out to buy one just yet.

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware 20

Because …. at the end of the day, I rarely notice anyone else’s front door handles when I go visit them. And if I did notice … I wouldn’t care two seconds if it was a little scraped. And I know y’all love me enough to not care either. Right? ;)

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware 11

The inside looks the same … except … I have since replaced the little door catch/latch thing. If I cared enough, I might even just touch up the scuffs. But I don’t care, people. Sorry. I just don’t.

And, lastly, the other thing you’ll want to just replace, is the back door hardware:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware 17

Especially if your back door is like mine and you have blinds that clank against the door knob every time someone goes in or out. I found a back door hardware package in the right finish for only $53. But. Again. I’m not a big spender. So ….. I’ll wait on it. Because: I just. don’t. care. (I did, however, also replace the little door catch/latch on this one too … because it was a buck. Sometimes I go crazy. ;)

So. Moral of the story?

Don’t paint these:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware door knobs latch 4

Just replace them with these:

rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray painted hardware door latches 2

But, do paint the entire rest of the door knob/hardware set.
DO paint your shower trim, faucet handles, cabinets, light fixtures, outdoor light fixtures, chandeliers, light switch plates, outlet covers … yadda yadda. For added emphasis, I’ll say it again … There are only 3 things I wouldn’t recommend painting (because they don’t look 100% a couple months down the road) and those are: front door, back door, all door latches.


I’m done.

I said my peace.

So glad I got all of that off my chest.

Now, go spray paint something, y’all!!


  1. This is an AWESOME post. I cannot wait to get our first home and spray paint everything in sight! Thanks for the advice. :)

    1. Thank you!!!

      Spray paint is really a girl's best friend ... diamonds are overrated! ;)

  2. That's such great advice. I love changing things for cheap!

  3. How did you spray paint your cabinets? Any help would be great!!

    1. Hey Kasey!

      We just taped off everything: tile, counter, walls, etc. using tape, plastic, newspaper to cover anything we didn't want painted. Then he used cans of spray paint to paint the base of the cabinets. He took the cabinet doors off and painted those in the garage and put them back on after they were dry.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Hi. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to cover everything else in site to successfully do that shower frame. Do tell! Thanks.
      (Nice job!)

    3. Suzanne, girl. Don't get crazy. That would have been a major pain to tape off!! So ... we did something even harder and we took the whole darn thing apart!!!

      Not joking.

      Here's the best I could do for a tutorial on the madness:

      Good luck!! You can do it!! And ... see? Now taping off your shower doesn't sound so difficult, right?

      PS- I think you can totally do it by taping off your shower. Just scrape all the caulking off of the metal frame.

  4. so funny that you posted this! since moving into this house(this brass covered house...aye..) joey has been spray painting stuff too. and yeah, some stuff doesn't hold up as well. but it makes a huge difference! worth it for us right now to save the money and just spray paint whatever crap we can. brass is icky.

    1. I know, right?!

      I can't bring myself to spend the money on the front and back doors ... and if I'd just do that, then no one would be able to tell what I did or didn't spray paint! HA!

  5. Very nice results and an excellent explanation! Our house is full of shiny brass. Not sure I have the patience for such a project. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope it is back because I still haven't painted mine!

  6. Great post. Love it! Thanks for all the tips. I know what one of our next projects is going to be. :)

  7. There are only two colors that I love most when it comes to fixtures; black and brass. By the way, you do know how to shop, huh? You picked out great deals!

  8. I have used this on a ton of things in my home too including all of our brass knobs, hinges, etc. and love the results. I actually just googled using it on cabinets and came across your blog-which I love by the way! The crazy part is your bathroom layout is almost identical to mine. Did you have to sand or prep your cabinets before spraying? Thanks!

    ~Shelly @

  9. I love what you have done! I was searching for cabinets that were painted in the oil rubbed bronze. What kind of cabinet wood did you have? Did you prep the wood? How is it holding up on the cabinets? Did you do a finish on top? Another diy blogger said her wood headboard she did has a texture to it because of the metallic, did you notice this and if so, does it take away from the wood look? Thanks for sharing. I also LOVE spray paint!

    1. So sorry for the slow response! Summer kept me busy!

      My bathroom cabinets were/are a cheap-o MDF faux wood that was painted white. I didn't prep them at all. I just cleaned them up real good and bossed Superman into painting them for me. It's holding up great. I don't notice a texture at all. DO IT! You won't regret it!!

  10. Nice post.
    here valuable information.
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  11. Hey! Great post. Did you use metal primer or acetone on the front door hardware prior to painting? Thanks!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I want to do this! Did you remove all the doorknobs when you spray painted them? Did it take one coat or more? Can you tell me the name/brand of the spray paint you used. THANKS!

  14. Looks good! I would like to paint my kitchen drawer/door pulls, but they're about 30 years old and are quite grimy. Any suggestions on how to get years of kitchen grime off them so paint will adhere?

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  16. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!
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  17. Did you paint in the house or remove everything to the garage or outdoors?

  18. Looks Awesome! I also did this in my home. In addition to brass hardware, brass light fixtures were my target. I used fine grit sandpaper to sand first, then rubbed down with steel wool, then used Rustoleum bare metal primer...let dry for 8 hours, then finished with Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze metallic paint. It has been 7 mos and they look awesome.

  19. Spray painting would wear off within a few months. It would be better to replace your hardware than refurbishing it with spray paint.

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  20. Most of the time, I forego those, because they’re usually scraped from opening and closing the doors, especially when the door expands due to hot weather. As for the knobs, cabinets and frames, I love how they complement your white walls and doors. Simple, yet elegant.


  21. Great info, entertaining commentary :) thanks!

  22. Thanks SOOOOOOOO much this! I'm stoked & can't wait to get started. I was about to go out and but ALL new hardware; now I'm not! :)

  23. Well, nice to know about the spray paint for different hardware. Now one can easily paint their hardware including locks instead of replacing locks from Locksmith near me services provider in order to match with your wall decoration.

  24. This review is SO helpful! When we moved into our current house the first order of business was replacing the locks and I found the dark brass set at HD for roughly what you quoted (maybe a little more, maybe a little less, I can't quite recall). I'm glad I replaced that, but I'm definitely going whole hog on the rest of the interior doors / pins and hinges. Right now ours look exactly how you'd expect 30 year old knobs and hinges to look with years of gunky paint on them from careless DIY'ers of the past.

  25. Was wondering - did you paint your door hinges?

  26. I am in the process of doing this right now.The shower is taped off, the cabinet doors are perched on paint cans while they dry. And, I used stone spray paint to paint my 90's white looks awesome. I got the idea bc I had used it on a light switch cover by our kitchen sink and it has held up beautifully. My wet hands are on it all the time, I'm constantly wiping something off of it...etc. So, I sprayed an old garden cart outside a few weeks ago just to see what it would do in rain and weather. Well, I can't scrape it off with a rock! I figured it if can withstand the elements it will hold up in our shower. SO excited as I get to the finish. Can't wait to see the completed project.

  27. Nice post with really nice images. Loved it. I believe beautiful hardware fittings like door hardware fittings, Kitchen hardware fittings enhances the beauty of our home.

  28. Do you know what the drawbacks would be if I used the oil rubbed bronze that comes in the regular paint can? Seems like you could get the same results by taping it off really well, then applying with a foam brush. I'm lazy and don't want to remove the hardware :)

  29. This was a very informative session. Thank you for the update and all your suggestions. You answered all the questions as to what to paint and what not to paint that all of us were wondering about---ya know, long term wear and tear. So very helpful. Karen

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  31. I can't help but wonder is sanding them would have helped them last longer.

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  34. While painting the interior in your home some amount of paint must enter into the Locks and this may turn the locks int rust.Worn or rusted locks is a serious problem for your home security, so better calling a locksmith and replace such locks as son as possible for security.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Have you ever tried the paint in a can on your items? Are you going to paint the faucets in your bathroom or leave them shiny silver?

  37. I’m going to spray paint all my knobs!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  38. This is amazing! Thank you! We just bought a home this week built in 1990, newest home I have ever been blessed with. Super excited but brassy gleam every where! You just saved us a great deal of money which we don't have therefore a massive relief and some spray painting ahead! I will tackle the bathroom this summer. Brassy shower doors and 4 large mirrored brass trimmed closet doors are going to change!!!!

    BTW: Love your writing style! Best blog ever!!!

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  41. Spraying paint on the locks may results in jamming locks.So prevent using those sprays on the locks because this can make the locks in a non working condition and you are unable to open it.It's better to replace the locks if they are rusted because these locks will no more work for a while.In such cases , talk with your locksmith and install the new locks instead of the older one.

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  44. Your bathroom looks so classy I love the grey tones and those shelves are fantastic for displaying pretty things :)
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