You can spray paint them in a finish of your choice. Silver, bronze, gold, whatever.
its common to refinish older hardware on doors and windows. There are many furniture refinishing companies that can do this type of work for you, They have special corn cob, or soda blasting tools that will remove the rust and old paint from the metals without harming them. then they can get the hardware refinished to your liking, From chrome to brass or even just plain powder coat paint.
What kind of finish are you thinking about?
I was thinking about antique bronze and I also wanted to know what the approximate cost is (it might be more than I want to spend and there are only 2). Adding to that - it's not even the door knobs I was referring to (duh!) they are actually curved handles that goes up to a hole that a simple door knob fits into. Sorry for the confusion.
Depending upon the age of the hardware or value, it may not be practical to have professionally finished. This cost would be dependent upon the current condition.
You could always dip them yourself using paint stripper, then using a buffing machine clean them up. once done, there are all sorts of finishing products available to the average person that will do a wonderful job on the finish.
I would assume taking these to a professional paint stripping company you will end up paying about $75-125 per handle if you want a true bronze finish put back on. And if your hardware is white metal, you most likely would be out of luck on doing this as the metal is soft and may not withstand that process.
The Marines use muscle and Brasso. (I have also heard that urine on a cotton ball can work though I haven't tried this myself.) However in a very old house the patina is supposed to be there. If the fixtures are painted- stripper and a toothbrush.
I've decided that I will leave the hardware alone and buy some old glass door knobs that way I won't have to worry about matching up the metal. Thanks everyone.
That sounds perfect!
Yes, go to your local auto body shop and they can have it done for you. They will last so much longer then you just painting them