How to paint brass door knobs?

Barb Moe
by Barb Moe
I have two door knobs that have worn really bad. I've tried cleaning with just about everything. But to be honest, I would prefer a brushed nickel finish. I can't find any that will fit so I'll have to paint these, but I don't know how. I'm into easy and less chemicals.
  13 answers
  • Cindi Cindi on Jan 31, 2016
    Remove the hardware and clean it up, especially any rust, and spray paint it whatever color you like. I resell things at the antique mall, and brass hardly ever sells, so most people just spray paint it. It looks brand new, and no brass. Satin Black is my favorite and looks especially nice, but there are so many colors to choose from, I'm sure you can find one you like. Either that, or just replace it with new hardware, but spray paint is a lot cheaper.
  • Debbie Williams Debbie Williams on Jan 31, 2016
    i just did mine i took them off sanded them and spray painted them brushed bronze
  • Maureen estell Maureen estell on Jan 31, 2016
    After painting any smooth surfaces like your handle, or wine bottles, ceramic towel holders, etc. I like to give the painted surface a coat or two of modge podge. It seems to keep the paint from wearing ir chipping.
  • Rebecque D Rebecque D on Jan 31, 2016
    Would rub n buff work?
  • Vin377541 Vin377541 on Jan 31, 2016
    We did all of ours last year..take them off clean them then use oven cleaner to clean and remove the sealant that covers door handles dry, spray with your color then respray with a clear sealant.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 31, 2016
    Remove the handles and soak them in baking soda and water mixture.Let completely dry and spray paint them in your bushed metal finish.
  • Connie Connie on Jan 31, 2016
    Remove all parts from door. After cleaning them (I like TSP, trisodiumphosphate) rinse and allow to dry. Tape any areas you do not want paint on, like the working insides for the latches. Use a Krylon or Rustoleum metal primer, then topcoat with your chosen spray paint for metal. The primer is key for a good adhesion between the metal and paint. Top coat with a clear coat for even more protection. Screws can be stuck into a board or cardboard and sprayed to match the rest. I did this with brass kitchen knobs, handles and hinges, and it turned out great.
    • See 1 previous
    • Connie Connie on Jan 31, 2016
      @Djl4300 If you don't have too many parts, I find it helpful to hang the pieces by wire, in order to spray all sides at once and allow to dry. Cut open a side in a large cardboard box to form a type of spray booth so the spray does not go everywhere too.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jan 31, 2016
    A short trip to the hardware store for some Rustoleum Bronze Spray paint will do the trick. Always follow manufacturer instructions though and best of luck. Great question!
  • Diane Diane on Jan 31, 2016
    Thanks again, Connie! I have S whole house ahead of me!
  • Ranger Ranger on Jan 31, 2016
    Oh no. I live in an 1860's villa and all the brass handles and handle plates have been painted; I plan to take all the paint off and restore them to the original beauty. I also plan to get the handles and plates professionally polished and sealed, so that they'll only need dusting and/or a damp wipe down to keep clean.
    • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Apr 02, 2017

      I, too hate to see painted brass. I always try to get the original paten back. The "old" stuff is so much better than the artificial new.

  • Deborah Kulka-maclellan Deborah Kulka-maclellan on Jan 31, 2016
    I have had very nice results taking the handles apart and spray painting with metallic paint (Rustoleum) in brass or gold. I used steel wool to clean off any rust or flaking. Looks great and wears very well.
  • Barb Moe Barb Moe on Feb 01, 2016
    There were so many great ideas. I can't wait to get started on this project.
  • Bonnie.batek139 Bonnie.batek139 on Mar 31, 2017

    You can try rubbing ketcup on your brass. I've done it and it does work.

    • See 1 previous
    • Mary Mary on Mar 31, 2017

      I've heard about rubbing ketchup on brass, but can't remember what it is supposed to do. My brass door knobs are not rusting, but they appear to be getting black smear marks... really hard to explain. They are not pitted or rusted, just these weird smear marks. My brass mail box is doing the same. What does the ketchup do? I know it has to do with the acid in the ketchup but that's about it. Please fill us in on what it does. Thanks!