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Home Improvement DIY: update ugly brass door knobs

You know the ugly door knobs I am talking about. Even though our house was built in the 2004 it looks like it was built in the nineties. We have brass everywhere. Since we are in the middle of our home improvements I decided to update the whole house.

Now that we have a new color and fresh paint up on the walls and doors the brass looks even worse. It stands out like a sore thumb. So those have to go first!

I went to the hardware store and was floored at how much door knobs are. I needed around 13. There was no way I was going to pay $10 or more for new knobs! So what is this frugal mom to do? Well do it herself of course.

So I went a couple isles over to the paint section. I found a rustoleum that was primer and paint in one. It was about $7. I didn’t know how far it would go so I got 2 cans. So my total was $14 + tax. That would have only bought me 2 doorknobs.

To the house I went and gathered all the knobs. They had already been removed from the painting project. I needed something to allow the knobs to stand up. I wish I had thought of that at the store. So to improvise I got some vinyl that had been removed. I would suggest you use Styrofoam or cardboard as they would be easier to use.

To the front yard I went. I laid out the vinyl and set up my knobs. I shook up the spray paint and got to work. It had great coverage. Here is the difference after one light coat.

I ended up doing about 3 coats to get in all the cracks and curves. Then let it dry overnight.

I love the difference already! Yeah!

Here is a nice before and after picture.


I only needed one can so I can use the other ony next brass project. So I updated all the doorknobs Dora only $7! That is awesome!

Now I am off to update all the other horrible brass in this house. I think I’ll start with the lights. More home Improvement DIY to come!

Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected]


  1. Found this on Pinterest and I am intrigued.
    How have the doorknobs held up to constant use? I think using this technique on the low use doors and splurging for the high traffic areas would be the way to go. What has your experience been?

  2. This looks great. I too have so many doors with brass knobs. I’ve already replaced 3 bedroom door knobs, but as noted, they are so expensive. I am definately going to try this, and what a better time than this weekend. As Katy asked above, I’d love to know how the knobs held up with constant use? Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. HI Ron! Thanks for your comments! YES new oiled rubbed bronze or other fancy knobs are very expensive! This is a cheap but effective way to update them. Ours have held up beautifully! Good luck with your project! Let me know how it goes for you! Thanks!

  3. Would also like to know how the knobs hold up with heavy use. One question I do have is what about knobs with locks, can this be done on them also or will the paint damage the lock mechanism?

    1. Great question Brenda! I am very happy with how they turned out and how they are holding up. They have not chipped or worn down at all! And our knobs go through a lot of use with my 2 little ones! As for the locks- I sprayed one with the lock and it is working just as it did before. No issues at all. I am not an expert so I can not guarantee anything. šŸ™‚ But I am VERY pleased! Thanks for stopping by!

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