Monday, September 5, 2011

Brassy Turned Beautiful

When we moved in, our house was full of the dreaded "builder grade brass" which is what I have always had in my house.

But I can't stand builder grade brass in my house, at all, ever.  I knew that I didn't have the money to replace all of my doorknobs to brushed bronze, so I settled with replacing all of the outside doorknobs and set out to find a solution for the inside.  I am happy to say that I found one and I am SO excited that it worked out!!! It has really made a B-I-G difference in the way the house looks (not to mention I am stoked about it.)
Just an example... this is my foyer before
And now...

(This one is a little too crooked... my bad!)

See how much more those doorknobs pop?  

Are you sick of builder grade brass?  Great news!  It's pretty easy to fix!

Here's what you need:

Tools to remove your doorknobs
sandpaper (or sanding block)
Clean Metal Primer
Brushed Bronze Spray Paint (or satin nickel if you like the silvery look better!)
Step One:  Remove your door knobs from the doors (you can do the hinges too if you are ambitious!)
Step Two:  Sand, Sand, and Sand some more.  This part is vital!  Every piece of research I did emphasized you doing this if you want this to last for years to come!  Don't forget the screws!
Step Three:  Clean your door knobs and screws with soap and water to remove any grease and debris left from sanding.

Step Four: Spray prime with Clean Metal Primer and let harden... 2 days if you can wait that long (impatient me only waited 6 hours) It is important to let your primer harden! You have to remember that these are going to be used very regularly and need to be durable enough to handle.  If you follow these steps I assure you they will be!
Step Five: Spray in numerous small coats with the brushed bronze spray paint (I like to poke mine into an old 12 pack container so they are easier to get to at all angles)  and LET DRY!!  I usually leave mine out in the sun for at least 4 hours and then let them sit overnight inside.
Step Six: Reassemble.  Use a permanent marker to color in the inside of the screws (the screwdriver has a tendency to take the paint off the divets in the screws.) NOTE:  If you are impatient with your first round and put it on after only an hour of drying it WILL scratch, but a Sharpie marker will cover it up beautifully :-)  

Total cost breakdown:
primer- 3.99/can (will do about 4 sets of doorknobs)
paint- 3.99/can (will also do about 4 sets)
sanding block- already had but CHEAP

Spray method for 4 sets: $8

I promise they aren't completely black... doorknobs are just really hard to photograph!

New doorknobs- $39 a set.  ($160 for 4)  

So for a little effort you can save $152!!  You can't beat that!  Minor upgrade that makes a big difference!

Some other things I have used this method on:
$5 bathroom light fixture from the ReStore
$6 light fixture from Goodwill
 Almost all of the hardware on refinished pieces

Do you have any brass in your house you would like to say goodbye to?

Partying Here:


  1. Awesome, I have been wanting to redo the fixtures in our bathroom. It's an apartment but they dont mind me making the upgrade. I cant stand the brass look and will be using this method very very soon! Katie we should get together for some projects. Have you seen the furniture I repainted on my profile? We share a love for pretty things lol!
    Love April

  2. YES! I LOVE the stuff you hand paint! You have an incredible talent for that! You always have :) Let me know if you have any questions when you get to your doorknobs!

  3. Those look so nice Katie! I can't even pick a favorite project because your talent is so great and everything turns out beautiful! I can't wait to see everything in person!


  4. I have these really cheesy brass fixtures in my basement...definitley going to give them a little spray!

  5. Hi Katie, I am happy to have found this post, through Pinterest! I did a search on painting on brass and here you are! I have a brass headboard (23 yrs. young) that I want to revitalize economically. Another talented blogging buddy suggested chalk paint. My dilemma is I am single, living alone and no big strong guy to help me. I want to paint it while it is still attached to the frame. Am I insane?? Have you used chalk paint? I would appreciate it if you could email me (follow the link thru the avatar). Thanks so much.

  6. Your fixtures look great! I hate to be a kill-joy, but I was just wondering how long it will last.

  7. this is fantastic! i will be doing this soon to our house. thank you for the tutorial :) found you through pinterest. love it!

  8. I am a Realtor and hear on a daily basis how buyers HATE the gold brass. I've been doing this method for several years now and it works! Take your home out of the 90's into this decade! The hardest thing is to convince the sellers what a difference it will make until they see it for themselves.


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