Thrifty doorknob transformation: From old gold to modern bronze

Earlier this week, I shared with you my thrifty door transformation. My faux wood door turned out so well that I just couldn’t bear to put back the old, scratched-up gold hardware. But I also couldn’t bear to shell out the bucks for a new lock set.

So I headed downstairs to my newly organized paint shelf and grabbed a can of my favorite spray primer and a can of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.

How to paint door hardware

I started by cleaning the hardware really well and roughing up the finish with steel wool to help the paint grip to the metal. Then I set up a makeshift spray paint area.


Cardboard boxes work great for propping up pieces to paint!

I gave the knobs and deadbolt a good once over with black Rust-Oleum® primer. This is my favorite primer because it’s (almost) fool proof.


Tip: When spray painting, patience is key! Use quick, light passes and keep the can at least 5-10 inches from your piece. Think two light coats rather than one heavy coat. I have gotten impatient with spray paint in the past and it always leads to more work in the end.

After the primer dried, I gave the hardware two light coats 😉 of Rust-Oleum Universal® Metallic Spray Paint in Oil-Rubbed Bronze. You can pick this stuff up at your nearest home improvement store.


I waited for everything to dry really well, which is the hardest part for me. Then I reinstalled the hardware on the door. Done!


I’ve now got a “new,” rich-looking lock set that only required stuff I already had on hand in my basement. I love it when that happens. 🙂


One word of caution: I like to let painted metal “cure” for about a week before I start handling it too much. It helps ensure a good bond and a durable finish. Fortunately, our side door rarely gets used, so this was not an issue for us.

What do you think of my “new” door hardware?

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11 Responses

  1. RUnt says:

    We spray painted a majority of our interior knobs about a year ago and they still look great!

    • Susan says:

      So glad to hear that. I was apprehensive for awhile about the durability. It sounds like I shouldn’t be worried. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. TwoPlusCute says:

    Hi there, well done!
    The close ups look indeed like wood. The detail you managed on the grain is quite something.

  3. teresa says:

    It all looks just great!

  4. Sally says:

    Love it! I need to paint our front door, I’m inspired after watching your transformation.

  5. Peggy says:

    Great idea! I have been think inking about trying this on a faucet I am not in love with. PS love the door!

  6. Big Mega says:

    These turned out great! I’m excited to do our kitchen cabinet project at dad’s camp!

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