How do I refurbish door knob plates?


My house is 1940s. All my doors have worn door knob plates that I'd like to upgrade. Not replace, the new brass plates are too shiny and look out of place. Paint gets scratched or peels. Any suggestions? Ideas for brass knobs that won't polish, too. Thanks!

q refurbish door knob plates
  10 answers
  • Lynwen Lynwen on Nov 03, 2018

    If they are brass then ketchup does an excellent job

    • Mary Dodge Mary Dodge on Nov 03, 2018

      I've tried ketchup and it works, but... the finish is totally worn off, so they clean down to a greyish base metal. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

  • User User on Nov 03, 2018

    Try SOS pads

  • Huntress Huntress on Nov 03, 2018

    Automotive paint , comes in great colors and you can keep the extra and use for any touchup.

  • Benwa Benwa on Nov 03, 2018

    no sos pads on brass That will scratch it. Use a product called Brasso. Wipe it on, let it dry, buff it off with a soft cloth.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jan Marie Jan Marie on Nov 04, 2018

      Does no one read the comments before answering? ou could have them replated and that can be pricey or spray paint them using a good primer first and then a coat or two of a mettalic paint finish with a clear coat. Try to use primer, top coat, and clear coat from the same company. You could email the company and ask them what they suggest for durability. Good luck. I had those same back plates on my first house and they also had no finish left on them.

  • Mindshift Mindshift on Nov 03, 2018

    The long term fix for your brass is to have it re-electroplated. You would need to remove all the hardware you want refinished and ship it to an electroplating business. Do a search for that.

    Otherwise, you have to choose a metallic paint then put a clear coat over that. No, it won't last forever, but it should last for many years. But you are looking for an easy, inexpensive fix. You should be able to find what you need at a building supply, hardware, or hobby store. Below are a couple of sites with good info.

  • Rosie Rosie on Nov 03, 2018

    I've used Rub n' Buff on different projects for years. I rub it on, let it dry and, polish it off with Kleenex or similar (it is not shiny). It is an oxide mixed with oil and, works like a paste. It comes in a variety of colors Gold, Antique Gold, Copper, Spanish Copper (very dark) - may be right for your project, Ebony, even found a blue that looks like Verde Gre(?) on our plastic, copper color dimpled mirror frame. I used Ebony to change a brass fire screen into black. I've purchased it at Hobby L, Michael's, and Amazon, as well as, other craft stores, you may have to call or check on the I-net. The size of the tube is tiny but, it really spreads a long way and is pretty tough. I use Goof Off to remove it. I think the tubes are around $10.00 or less but, please do check. Amazon wanted $37.00 per tube (no joke) but, I found it on line for $7.00 + $6.00 shipping. Experiment with one or two coats. It's good for stenciling and other projects .

    • Mary Dodge Mary Dodge on Nov 03, 2018

      Thank you, Rosie. I'll check with my local Michael's first. This is the kind of idea I was hoping for.

  • Use metal spray paint but before that remove the door knob and clean it properly. Let it soak overnight in water with soap. That will do the job. Goodluck!!

  • Karen Jacobson Karen Jacobson on Mar 30, 2019

    Take them to a powder coating company that has a variety of colors and finishes.

  • Michael Michael on Dec 04, 2020

    Find a reputable plating company, like an automobile bumper exchange, as many do brass plating as well as the chrome plating. If not nearby, you may make arrangements to mail them to the plating company, as the knobs and plates are light enough that they may be economically mailed. Yes, I realize that this is NOT exactly DIY, but you will get newly re-plated and shiny new brass that will last for another few generations into the future.

    • Mary Dodge Mary Dodge on Dec 04, 2020

      I did not realize this query was still active! I have found a wax rub called Rub n Buff that works well to give a consistent, antique look. It comes in different antique metallic colors. New, shiny brass isn't the look I was going for. I do appreciate your suggestion and will keep it in mind for future.

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