Spray Paint Door Knobs – Spray Painting Door Knobs Easily

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They say that doorways are thresholds to new spaces. We spend a lot of time interacting with doors in our daily lives, the function as means to compartmentalize our living spaces, workspaces and provide you with privacy. Do they though? Sure, doors are great dividers of space but the actual privacy and security they provide are determined by the handle and lock. These are things that they take for granted, and they’re often not thought about when we consider refurbishing our home’s aesthetic. You could probably count the number of times you think about your doorknobs on one hand, and let’s face it, they could probably use a bit more love than you’re giving them. Let’s have a look at some of the best ways you can go about beautifying your neglected doorknobs.




Why Should You Respray Your Doorknobs?

Doorknobs are seldom thought about, which is not surprising considering that they are purely functional in their purpose. However, these can be a bit of an eyesore when you consider that doorknobs are usually modeled in stark contrast to the aesthetic of doors themselves. This being said, having a doorknob that appears discolored, faded, damaged, or chipped can leave a lasting impact on the overall aesthetic of a space.

Re Spray Painting Door Knobs

A good example of just how much of a letdown this can be is to imagine winning a complete home makeover, but the only thing that remains the same are the doorknobs you had installed previously. It sort of defeats the point of the whole “new look” exercise, right? A uniform aesthetic isn’t the only reason to refurbish your doorknobs though, have you ever gone out and priced new doorknobs for your entire home? Even if your home or workspace doesn’t have that many doors it can cost a relatively small fortune to have these replaced by simply going down to your local hardware store and buying them.

If you have the money, this is all well and good, but there’s no guarantee that the doorknobs that are on sale will be anything remotely close to the aesthetic you had previously. Considering the aforementioned, it should come as no surprise that more and more people are opting to perform DIY restorations on their doorknobs and related fixtures. How does one go about this though? Well, doorknobs are made of various materials on which only certain types of paints and treatments can be used.

Knowing this, let’s have a look at what types of paint and treatments work on various types of doorknobs.



Which Types of Coatings Work on Doorknobs?

Having the motivation and the drive for home improvement is a wonderful feeling, especially when you have all the possibilities running through your mind of what the finished product might look like. Although, you should know that you have the right tools for the job, or your weekend project might turn into an all-week nightmare. Here are a few coatings that work well on doorknobs depending on the material they’re made of.

How to Paint Door Knobs Easily


Brass Doorknobs

Brass is a martial that isn’t spray painted often outside of the commercial industry, although lots of old homes have brass door handles installed. What type of spray paint works best for brass door handles? Surprisingly, you can use virtually any type of spray paint on brass door handles including acrylic, latex, oil, and enamel paints. The trick is to clean your door handle thoroughly and apply a primer for the specific paint you’re using.

You should have a great, long-lasting finish once you have completed your coating.


Plastic Door Knobs

If you’re wondering how to spray paint door knobs made of plastic, you’re in luck. Plastic door knobs are a pleasure to work with because just like brass you can get just about any spray paint to stick to it if you have the correct primer for the job, and if you have prepared the surface adequately.

Spray Painting Door Knobs Red

Plastic door knobs are receptive to virtually any paint on the market as we mentioned previously, although they don’t respond as well to sheen finishes compared to matt ones, therefore we recommend choosing a high-quality primer if you’re setting out to make a shiny door handle for your door. Also, keep in mind to sand plastic door knobs thoroughly before applying your primer.


Steel Door Knobs

The likelihood of you having steel door knobs in your home is pretty likely if your home is relatively new. Steel is durable, easy to maintain, and most importantly for the context of this post, easy to paint! Steel door knobs are also one of the cheapest you would have been able to buy in the day so most homes are fitted with them.

Although other types of paint can be used on steel, it responds best when enamel or oil-based paints are used on them as steel (unless forged) can have microscopic pores that paint uses to latch on to.

The other advantage you will have when working with these types of paint is the sheen finish that they produce, which to the untrained eye can look as good (if not better) than brass doorknobs.

Type of paint Oil Paint Acrylic Paint Latex Paint Enamel Paint
Brass Doorknob
Plastic Doorknob
Steel Doorknob



Is Spray Paint Durable Enough for Door Knobs?

Choosing to spray paint doorknobs might seem a bit strange, considering that most of them come ready painted it’s not really something most people think about. The question that’s asked next is usually “is spray paint on doorknobs durable?” which is a fair question considering that we spend all our lives opening and closing door knobs. The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, it has a lot to do with the quality of workmanship and quality of product involved in the painting process.

Easy Spray Painting Door Knobs

Doorknobs see a lot of hand traffic and as a result, an inferior or poorly applied finish will degrade quickly, and you’ll be forced to repeat the process over again. This being said, spray paint can last on a doorknob if the sanding and priming process is followed correctly, and most importantly, the right paint is used on the doorknobs in question. It can seem like a lot of work but in reality, doorknobs are small workpieces that are really easy to work with, so ensure you work patiently and methodically when you are preparing and painting them.



What Are the Best Spray Paints for Door Knobs?

Spray painting door knobs relies on good preparation and good spray paint. Choosing a spray paint that’s conducive to the material your doorknob is made of is important, thankfully you don’t have to look too hard these days because most manufacturers make multi-purpose paints. Let’s have a look at some of the best spray paints for door knobs on the market today!

How to Paint Door Knobs Wood


Best Overall: RUST-OLEUM Universal All Surface Spray

As we mentioned previously the primary concern people have when spray painting doorknobs is that the finish will fade eventually. While this is true, there are many paint brands out there that design their formulas for just such applications. The Rust-Oleum team has designed just such a formula with their universal all surface aerosol spray paint, ensuring that regardless of which surface you’re working with, it will stick and continue to stick for the lifetime of your workpiece. How does this miracle technology work?

Well, considering that the Rust-Oleum brand has been around for over 100 years, you can rest assured that they’ve learned a thing or two about high-quality paint production.

RUST-OLEUM Universal All Surface Spray Paint
  • Suitable for all surfaces, including wood, plastic, and metal
  • The oil-based paint is rust, fading, and chipping resistant
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes and covers 15 sq ft
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They have modified an oil-based formula that not only adheres perfectly to literally every door handle material on the market, not to mention that oil-based paints mean that whether your doorknobs are exposed to extreme heat or temperatures that reach below zero, your workpieces and their high-quality finishes will be protected.

This is also a great aerosol paint to consider if you are looking to get a lot of work done fast, the universal all surface spray paint dries in 30 minutes after application which means you could cover an entire household’s worth of door handles in one workday if the mood took you. Still not sold? Consider that the colors included in the universal all surface spray are not only perfect for any setting, but they provide a sheen glossy finish that would impress even the most skeptical critic.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Robust
  • High-quality finish


  • Small volume
  • Limited color selection
  • Only one finish is available


Best Value: KRYLON Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint

Spray painting door knobs does not always have to be an affair of fine art and finishes, sometimes you just want a finish that looks decent and lasts long. This is where the Krylon team comes in, they’ve been around about as long as the Rust-Oleum team give or take a decade or two, and they too have mastered the art of paint adhesion.

Their all-in-one range is a great illustration of what can be accomplished when great minds come together and create some innovative new technologies. If you couldn’t tell by the cool logo on the can, this product offers an all-in-one solution to all your spray painting needs, capable of adhering to plastic, wood, PVC, metal, and even ceramic, this truly is one of the most versatile spray paints on the market.

KRYLON Fusion All-in-One Spray Paint
  • Delivers superior adhesion, durability, and rust protection
  • Easy-to-spray cans feature a bit button spray tip
  • Dries in less than 20 minutes and does not run or drip
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Funny enough, door handles are typically made of most of the materials we mentioned above so you can rest assured that the All-in-one spray paint range from the Krylon team has you covered. This type of spray paint is extremely robust and long-lasting, and it seems that this theme follows all the way through to their range of finishes, offering metallic, satin, gloss, hammered, and textured finishes which are perfect for most door handles, especially in a market where rustic finishes seem to be all the rage.

Like the Rust-Oleum team, the Krylon brand seems to have prioritized the practicality of their aerosol paint by offering an even faster dry time than most products in the same range, with a 20-minute dry tie you’ll be done painting your doorknobs in no time at all!


  • Versatile
  • Robust
  • Easy to use
  • Wide range of finishes
  • Affordable
  • Ergonomic design


  • Limited color range
  • Limited finish range
  • Small volume per unit


Best Finish: SEYMOUR Stainless Steel Rust Protective Spray Paint

Some of you might not be looking for the best overall tool for the job, and to this, we recommend the Seymore brand’s stainless steel aerosol spray paint. Most of the paints we have covered thus far have been able to do everything pretty well, so in contrast here’s a paint that specializes in doing one thing really, really well. The Seymore team has provided us with a stainless-steel spray paint that seems to be the perfect answer to your steel door knob spray needs, providing a finish that is high quality, reflective, and hard-wearing. The kids’ greasy hands definitely won’t be causing this finish to fade.

Why do you ask? The Seymore aerosol spray line is oil-based, so no matter what you throw at it, or if your door is based outdoors, you can rest assured that the finish will last for the lifetime of the handle, or your door itself for that matter.

SEYMOUR Stainless Steel Rust Protective Spray Paint
  • The formula dries quickly to the touch so you can finish fast
  • The paint contains a 100% stainless steel pigmentation
  • The paint color resists UV light and is non-yellowing
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What really sets his brand of spray paint apart is its UV-resistant formula, which means that if your door is situated in direct sunlight or it is based outdoors, you won’t have to worry about your paint yellowing or peeling due to overexposure to said environments. If that still isn’t enough to pique your interest, consider that their steel rust protective formula is extremely fast drying, allowing you to spray multiple door knobs at one.

The party piece of this product is its finish. While the Rust-Oleum and Krylon products provide a brass and matte finish respectively, the Seymore aerosol paint provides a high-quality mirror sheen finish that will leave you absolutely astounded, which is a surprise coming from this little-known brand.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • High-quality finish
  • Robust formula
  • Long-lasting
  • Sheen/mirror finish


  • Only one color is available
  • Only one finish is available
  • Not a reputable brand
  • Expensive
  • Not very versatile



How to Spray Paint Doorknobs Effectively

It’s a bit of an odd thought to think that you’re about to spray paint your doorknobs. Well, it is for most people, and if you’re a DIY junkie that can’t wait to get their hands dirty this section is for you too. Let’s have a look at how to paint doorknobs in the quickest and effective way possible in a few short steps.

Preparing for Spray Painting Door Knobs


Prepare Your Workspace

Before we show you how to paint doorknobs, you should probably prepare both yourself and your work area for the task ahead. When working with any aerosol-based substance it’s important for you to remember to wear the correct personal protective gear. Paint particles are atomized and can easily enter your airways, eyes, and other orifices causing mild to serious discomfort in the process, this is why wearing a mask graded for painting and gloves when working with aerosol spray paint is of utmost importance.

Once you have yourself sorted out, it’s time to get your workspace prepared.

Remember that aerosol paint tends to get in everywhere because the particles are so small and they follow airflow, so ensure you put a tarp or newspaper over anything that might get some paint on it. Lastly, get your rags, sanding paper, clothes, and/or paint stripper ready. A good trick to keep is to keep these on the side of your dominant hand, and simply place them back there once you are done using them, this saves a lot of time during the painting process.


Clean and Sand Your Door Handles

Lesson one in how to paint doorknobs is cleaning. We’re going to assume you know that you need to remember to remove it from the door, and once you do you should be able to inspect the state of the doorknob you’re working with. Before you do anything else, get some metal cleaner or some soapy water (depending on what is readily available to you) and give the surfaces a thorough clean. Once your surfaces have been cleaned and dried appropriately it’s time for you to go ahead and start the sanding process.

Cleaning for Spray Painting Door-Knobs

You have a few options available to you when it comes to scuffing door handles up for the painting process, you could use a sanding wheel, sanding paper, or self-scuffing primer. Remember that power sanders aren’t great for use on softer materials as the heat produced could warp the door handle, so sanding paper and self-scuffing primer are the “safe” choices. When using sanding paper, you should ensure that you get most (if not all) of the existing paint or coating of the door handles, so exercise patience and use some elbow grease to set up a good foundation for the rest of the process.

Self-scuffing primer can simply be applied and you’re ready to go once it’s cured, also, if you choose to go this route the next step won’t apply to you.


Prime Your Workpiece

Primer. The saving grace of the modern DIY enthusiast, and we honestly don’t know how anyone spray painted anything before this miracle substance was invented. First time using a primer? No problem. Primer is essentially what helps the paint stick to whichever type of surface you are trying to paint, there are primers for metal, wood, plastic, vinyl, ceramic, and even glass! Applying primer is pretty straightforward, simply apply it as you would usually apply aerosol spray paint, with the added benefit of not having to worry about continuity or overspray.

How to Paint Door Knobs Metal

Primers for different surfaces tend to dry at different rates so ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying times when you apply your primer, also ensure that you don’t miss any spots, or the paint will stick inconsistently on the surface of your doorknob and faceplate.


Paint Your Workpiece

Now for the part, you have all been waiting for, remember that painting takes time, but with a smaller workpiece it’s a bit easier to get all the coverage you need without having to duck and dive to reach every nook, so it might go a lot quicker than you initially anticipated. Larger workpieces require a lot of control and range of motion on your part, but since the doorknob and face are literally right in front of you this minimizes the need for movement.

Therefore, as you would with any other workpiece, start by spraying off the workpiece and then move your wrist slowly in one uninterrupted motion over the surface of your doorknob and face.

Ensure that you have the correct pressure on your spray button as overspray on a smaller workpiece can be a bit of paint to fix, especially if you don’t get to it before it dries. Most metal spray paints dry fairly quickly, so this is something you should keep your eyes peeled for. Once you have the surface covered, go for the edges and the underneath of the door handle, this might sound challenging but it’s surprisingly easy to do with aerosol paint because of the manner in which the paint is distributed. For most of the painting process, you want to keep the aerosol upright for the best spray pattern and coverage.

Spray Painting Door Knobs Quickly

This might tempt you to “spot spray” but don’t give in to this impulse, use fluid motions and good pressure. Whether you choose to do multiple coats or not is entirely up to you. Depending on the type and quality of paint you use you might not even need to do multiple coats, although waiting on your paint to dry before you decide on this is probably a good idea. This being said, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for drying time, and ensure that once your workpiece has dried that you sand it down lightly before applying your next coat.


Should I Apply a Clear Coat?

This is a tricky question to answer. A clear coat is a lot like deciding whether you should make coffee with creamer or just have it black. Both are perfectly fine, but one adds that extra dimension of enjoyment to the experience. In the same breath, creamer may be your thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Clear coats are designed to give an extra layer of protection to your workpiece, and they provide a nice glossy finish to the surface while doing so.

Spray Painting Door Knobs Gold

Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that most people that use oil-based paints don’t use clear coats because they inherently provide a sheen, hard-wearing finish. The opposite is true for those who use acrylic paints as they typically provide a matt finish, and they can use some protection against external forces (more so than oil-based paints). Applying a clear coat is a choice, and it serves only to improve your workpiece’s finish and make it last longer and considering that most of them are practically dirt cheap, you might as well go for it if you have the option.



Now that you know why it’s a good idea to spray paint your doorknobs, what types of doorknobs are out there, which spray paints are good for use on door handles, and the best way to go about spray painting your door knobs, its time to get out there and pout your newfound skills to the test. Remember to always prepare your workspace by covering up your surfaces that shouldn’t get paint on them, always wear a face mask and gloves, and always follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.



Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Spray Paint Your Doorknobs?

It is very much possible to spray paint your doorknobs. There are lots of metallic and matt colors available on the market which not only work on your door handles, but provide a long-lasting finish that can last the lifetime of your door handle.


Does Spray Painting Door Knobs Last?

Spray painting door knobs do indeed, last. Although spray paints have come a long way in recent years, the key to making your coatings last is in the preparation process. Ensure that you sand and prime your workpiece thoroughly before you begin to paint and use a paint that is conducive to the type of surface you are trying to paint.


Can You Spray Paint a Brass Door Handle?

Although it might seem a bit far-fetched considering that brass is rarely painted once it’s been formed into a workpiece, it is possible to paint it. Brass door handles can be painted with any multi-purpose aerosol spray paints, just ensure that you prepare the workpiece thoroughly.