Door Knobs and Photo Bombs
Random title, I know. This post is really all about door knobs, but you’ll see what I mean about the photo bombs if you keep reading. What a ham.
We have a home improvement list. It’s very long. It keeps getting longer even though we cross items off all the time. It’s funny though. We love our house. It’s in relatively good shape. But we’re addicted to projects and putting our own stamp on things. I suppose that’s what makes a house a home.
One of the many items on our home improvement list is to replace all the interior doors with nicer, MATCHING, paneled doors. This includes hardware.
I think details like this are the ones you tend to ignore or are completely blind to when you fall in love with your future home. Just like we didn’t notice our purple hall walls until the final walk-through (we’d already seen the house 3 times at this point, one of them being for a few hours when the inspector was there), we didn’t notice that the interior doors are very inconsistent and the hardware is even worse. These details are hard to notice to the less familiar eye, but when there is consistency I think there is a huge aesthetic improvement.
At this moment in time, we don’t want to spend a lot of cash on new interior doors. It would be expensive, time consuming, and it’s not exactly a sexy thing to spend your money on. We’ve decided to replace doors as we re-do certain areas of the house. For instance, we see a bathroom reno in our future, so while we’re redoing everything bathroom related, it will make sense to replace the bathroom door and its hinges.
In terms of door hardware, we’re taking a different approach a la my homies from Young House Love. I can call them my homies because my friend and I met them when they came to Atlanta for their book tour.
It was better than meeting Zach Morris – er Mark Paul something-or-other (my other big celebrity meeting). I digress. This project was all their idea and I want to give them due credit. So you should check out their post on ORB-ing doorknobs because they do a darn good job of explaining the how-to. That’s why they are so awesome. Basically what I’m telling you is that you should click on their link for the how-to because this post is all about how I copied them and what my results were.
We have a lot of interior doors in our house: 15 if you don’t count the 2 sets of closet sliding doors. Of the 15 doors, only 4 of them are the type of door we want: paneled.
Yikes. See why we’re slowly replacing them? Of the 15 sets of hardware, 11 are knobs, 4 are handles; 14.5 are brass and .5 is nickel. Yes, you read that right. The inside of our closet door handle is nickel and the outside is brass. It drives me BONKERS. It’s already bad enough that some doors have handles versus knobs. But to have a different finish on either side of the door? That’s like wearing navy blue with black. Bad.
And just like we don’t want to put down hundreds of doll-hairs to replace interior doors, we’re not inclined to do that for the hardware either – particularly when it works just fine. And then I was inspired by John & Sherry Petersik and the rest is home makeover history.
We decided to refinish our knobs in Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint. The Petersiks swear that it’s worked for them: no chipping and scratching. And what do we have to lose? We hate the door hardware as it is so we might as well try the less expensive option first. We replaced the hardware on our front door this summer in oil-rubbed bronze and a minor mishap (i.e. I locked us in the basement so Adam had to kick in the door) forced us to replace another knob in oil-rubbed bronze. So we’re on the right track for consistent finishes. We are leaving the door HANDLES as is. We’ll eventually replace these with ORB knobs.
On a Thursday evening after work I stopped by Lowes to buy the spray paint, deglosser, and 400 grit sandpaper. Over the weekend, we removed all the knobs, keeping the pairs and their screws together on this giant piece of cardboard.
Then we lightly sanded and deglossed.
We had a big block of styrofoam from a new power tool, so we used it to hold all the knobs.
Adam stuck them in the foam by their pointy parts. He he. Unfortunately, the styrofoam wasn’t big enough which led to Adam’s creative jerry rig of old bathroom baseboard (yes, I owe you an update) to hold the knobs.
About 5 thin coats later, plus another spot coat on their undersides, and they were ready to cure. I brought the knobs back in our basement to cure for 48 hours.
After 2 days of drying time to decrease the chance of scratches, Adam reinstalled all of the knobs. Side note: when we removed them, we stuck labeled painters tape on the back of each one so we could easily put them back where they belong.
We also put some tape around the knob to protect from scratches as we were screwing them back. I sprayed some paint into a plastic cup and used a small craft brush to paint the screw heads after re-installation.
And here you have it (with our photo bomber):
Looks so much better, right? We are 73% on our way to matching interior door hardware. What what?