How Well Do Spray Painted Door Handles and Hinges Really Hold Up Over Time?

Two years ago I busted out a can of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and painted every single mismatched, ugly, bright gold door knob and hinge in our house. Now that enough time has passed to really test them out, I can give you the lowdown on how they’ve held up if you’re considering a similar project.

My verdict: Thumbs up.

The handles have fared pretty well and shockingly, the news is absolutely stellar for the hinges.

First the hinges. Truth be told, I thought the hinges would be an abject failure. With all those moving parts I thought they’d be toast within a few months. But look at this….


Not a chip on them, any of them, aside from those little scrape marks from my installation (which I should have touched up, but didn’t).

Hinges are definitely a pain to paint. First you have to take the door off to remove the hardware. If you hinges are like ours they probably have five layers of paint on them that you’ll also need to remove. (I boiled ours in water and then scrubbed them with a toothbrush to get the paint off.) And then you’ll need to paint them and put them back on. It takes time.

But if you’re looking to save money, the results here show it’s definitely worth the elbow grease.

As for the knobs. The story is mixed.


Some handles have held up perfectly, some have small dings, others have major chips. It depended on how much use they got and also on the preparation process. Some of the knobs I sanded before spraying, others I just sprayed. I think the ones that I prepped more carefully held up better. No surprise there.

Laziness definitely does not reap rewards.

The bottom line: Spray painting door handles works well, but be prepared for a little maintenance.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Overall, most of the knobs have held up pretty well. When they do chip they’re easy to touch up. Just spray a little paint into a cup and dab it on with a Q-tip.

Every couple years you might need to give a few knobs a total refresh. I’m going to be respraying a few this weekend. (By the way, they don’t sell the paint I used originally anymore, but I switched to this brand.)

Respraying the knobs doesn’t take much time, and when you compare the cost to the price of replacing all your knobs, there’s no contest.

So, if you’re considering updating your hardware using paint the take-home message is prep well, but by all means, spray away!


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