Can You Spray Paint Door Knobs


Last updated: October 6, 2023

Discover How to Transform The Look of Your Door Knobs with Spray Paint

Interior door knobs or exterior ones can affect how your doors appear. There are situations where you might want to give your door knobs a new look or make them match your doors.

What is the best way of achieving this? Should you buy new ones, or can you spray paint door knobs?

In this article, I will outline why spray painting your door knobs is a better and more economical decision than buying new ones. I’ll also outline how to spray paint door knobs to get a professional finish, even if you have never done it before.

So, let’s get right into it!

Can You Spray Paint Door Knobs

Yes, you can spray paint door knobs. You can use most of the spray paints on door knobs and hardware; however, we recommend you use metallic, enamel, chrome, or universal spray paints. Also, you must clean and prime before spraying 2 or 3 thin coats to get the best finish.

Can You Spray Paint Brass Door Handles?

Yes, spray paint can be used on brass door handles. To ensure your painted brass or metal door knobs last, prep them before applying the paint. Using a quality metal primer and enamel spray paint will improve the paint job’s durability.

Will Spray Paint Work on Door Knobs?

Yes, spray paint will work on door knobs and adhere well if you use the right spray paint for the type of interior door hardware or exterior in question.

Proper prepping, priming, and spray paint application will help the paint correctly stick to your door knobs and last.

If you do not properly prep the door knobs or use a quality primer and spray paint, your paint job will not last.

Also, your spray-painted door knobs will not have your desired final finish.

Spray Painting Door Knobs vs Buying New Ones?

Spray painting door knobs is much more economical than buying new ones.

Let me give you an example of my previous project to understand better how economical painting can be.

My house has 7 doors meaning I needed 14 door knobs. The cheapest door knobs I could find at Lowe’s cost $115 – that’s a pack of 5 door knobs with all the hardware needed to install them.

I would have had to buy 3 packs for $345 for my project.

Going with the spray-painting route, I bought a high-quality enamel spray paint for $12, a primer for $15, and a can of top coat for $6. The total was $33.

Opting to spray paint meant I saved more than $300.

As you can see, I saved more than 90% by spray painting rather than buying new door knobs.

It is important to note that even if I had decided to buy door knobs mentioned, I would still have to paint them since they did not match my doors.

What to Look for in A Door Knob Spray Paint?

Some of the things you should look for in a door knob spray paint include:

1. Type of paint

There are different types of spray paint, and choosing the right one to spray your door knobs is an important decision. Most universal, chrome, metal, and solvent-based spray paints can be used on door knobs.

2. Coverage

Coverage area is an important factor when choosing any spray paint. Choosing a spray paint with a larger coverage means you will have to spend less on paint, especially if you intend to paint many door knobs.

3. Durability

Different types of paint have different durability. Therefore, picking a paint with high adhesion power that can withstand frequent handling and weathering is important.

How to Spray Paint Door Knobs: Step-by-Step Guide

Supplies You Will Need

  • Drop cloth or newspapers
  • Paint stripper or remover
  • Tack cloth
  • Warm, soapy water and degreaser (if required)
  • Sandpapers (180,200, and 240 grit)
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint, primer, and top coat
  • Table or crate
  • Well-ventilated space.

Step 1: Prepping the Work Area

Prepping your work area is essential to ensuring you have an easier and more seamless experience spray painting your door knobs.

Check to make sure that all the supplies you will require are close by. Your work area should have proper ventilation and enough room for spray painting.

Remember to ensure no children and pets enter your work area to avoid the harmful fumes from the spray paint.

Step 2: Removing the Door Knobs

Use an appropriate screwdriver to remove the screws from your door knob.

Remove one screw at a time while remaining careful not to chip the screw head or scratch the knob.

Place the screw in a separate area – you can use a small container.

Repeat this process until you have removed all screws and door knob hardware.

Please note that you can still paint your knobs without removing them.

This is not recommended since you will not be able to spray paint the entirety of the knobs’ surfaces, and you may paint other areas of the door that you did not intend.

Nonetheless, if you are determined to paint without removing the knobs, ensure you properly tape up the surrounding areas to avoid getting paint on them.

Step 3: Removing the Old Paint on the Door Knob

When spray painting old door knobs, chances are they were previously painted.

If so, I recommend removing the old paint before moving forward.

You can use sanding paper, paint stripper, or remover to remove old paint from your door knobs and hardware.

If using sandpaper:

  • Lightly sand the old door knob paint job using 180-grit sandpaper. You may have to do two rounds of sanding using this sandpaper.
  • Follow that up by sanding using 200-grit paper. Ensure all the old paint has been removed from the knob and that it is left bare.

If you choose to use a paint remover or stripper:

  • Pour the solution on a tuck cloth.
  • Using your dump cloth, carefully wipe and apply the remover on the door knobs.
  • Give the solution time to soak into the old paint- 10 to 30 minutes should be okay.
  • Wipe the paint away using a drop cloth until all the paint is gone.
  • Remember to remove the paint from the screws as well. With the screws, I would recommend using a painting removing or stripping solvent.
  • Pour a small quantity of the paint stripper or remover into a small container and put the screws inside the solution.
  • Give it 10 to 20 minutes, remove the screws, and place them on a drop cloth.
  • Wrap them in the cloth and rub the cloth against them so you remove the solution and paint.

Repeat the process if needed until you remove the old paint completely.

Side Note: If your door knobs were not previously painted, then skip this step.

Step 4: Cleaning the Knobs

Ensure you thoroughly clean the door knobs and hardware.

You may do this using a drop or tack cloth. You may use a degreaser or warm soapy water if there are any stubborn stains or oil residues on the knobs.

After cleaning, wipe the wetness and dry the knobs before moving to the next step.

Can You Spray Paint Door Knobs

Step 5: Sanding the Door Knobs

This is one of the mandatory steps, and you should never skip it.

It does not matter whether you are working with new, old, painted, or unpainted door knobs; sanding is necessary.

Sanding allows you to rough the surface of the door knobs so that it has teeth for the primer to adhere to during application.

The paint might still adhere to the door knobs without sanding, but it won’t do so as well as when their surfaces have been sanded.

When sanding, use 240-grit sandpaper and sand using a back-and-forth motion across the entire surface of the door knobs.

Remember to avoid using too much wrist pressure to avoid creating scratches and chips on the Door knobs. If you do so, you may not be able to conceal by spraying the primer and paint.

Also, avoid sanding in a circular motion, as this will create sanding marks that will be visible after paint.

After this second sanding step, you should use a drop cloth to wipe the door knobs.

If you feel it is necessary, you may use a damp cloth to remove any remaining sanding residue before air drying the door knobs.

Step 6: Applying the Primer

  • On top of a table or a few crates, spread the drop cloth or newspapers. Do this in a way that will cover the entire surface of the crate or table.
  • Place all the door knobs and hardware on top of the drop cloth or newspaper’s spreading.
  • Ensure that the knobs are spread far apart to give you enough room to spray each one without interfering with others.
  • No, turn the knobs outside down in preparation for spraying the primer.
  • Shake the primer spray for 2 minutes to create a uniform mixture.
  • Hold the can about 8 inches from each knob and spray a thin coat of the primer to the bottom surface (surface that will be in direct contact with the door).
  • Give the knobs enough time to dry to the touch before turning them the other way around, spraying their faces (visible surfaces).
  • Do the same with screws, starting with onside before rolling them and priming the remaining side.
  • Give the door knobs and screws enough time for the first coat of primer to dry. In most cases, several hours should be okay.

If required, you can repeat the process by applying the second coat of primer and letting everything dry again.

Step 7: Spray Painting the Door Knob

You are now ready to apply the spray paint once the second coat of primer is dry.

When applying the first coat of spray paint, make sure you follow all the same instructions outlined in the step above.

Let the paint dry before applying a second coat.

Here are a few spray tips to help achieve better results:

  • Hold the spray can far enough to avoid splattering– a distance of 8 to 12 inches is fine.
  • When you apply primer, paint, or top coat, it is better to apply multiple thin coats than a single thick one. This will quicken the dry time between the coats and give a better finish.
  • Allow each coat of paint to dry before applying the next one.
  • Spread the paint evenly across the surface to form a uniform coat of paint.
  • After applying the spray paint, give the door knobs enough time to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 8: Applying a Top Coat

While this step is not mandatory, I recommend it as it provides an extra layer of protection for your paint job and door knobs.

Apply a thin, even layer of a clear top coat on all the door knobs plus the screws.

Let them dry, and then apply a second coat.

Step 9: Letting Everything Cure Before Reinstalling the Door Handles

Letting everything cure ensures you will not rub off or scratch the paint.

After all the painting has been done, let the door knobs and screws sit for 2 to 3 days – this is enough time for most spray paint to cure.

After this, you can safely reinstall the Door knobs and hardware.

Top 3 Best Door Knob Spray Paints

1. Rustoleum Universal Spray Paint – Best Budget-Friendly Door Knob Spray Paint

This universal spray paint is my go-to for most DIY projects.

It can be used on various surfaces and objects, including door knobs.

The paint is available in different cans sizes – 2, 11, and 12 ounces.

With the excellent adhesion power of the paint, you can be assured of the durability of your door knobs paint job.

The paint has an oil-based formula that suits indoor and outdoor door knobs.

With various finishes available, finding the right spray paint for your envisioned door knob look is easy.

What We Like πŸ‘

  • Budget-friendly
  • Great adhesion power
  • Spray cans come in different sizes.
  • It can be used on various surfaces.

What Could Improve πŸ‘Ž

  • Coverage can be better.
  • Fumes are more hazardous because of their oil-based formula.

2. Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint – Best Spray Paint for A Polished Bronze Door Knob Finish

This is still the same series as the paint above, but it deserves a mention, given how professional the bronze finish looks.

The spray paint comes in 2, 11, and 12-ounce cans. The 11-ounce can retail at just under $10.

Like all the spray paint in the Universal Spray Paint line, it has excellent adhesion power.

It is simple to use, even for beginners, despite the professional finish it provides.

With more extensive coverage, a single spray can allow you to apply 2 coats for up to 20 knobs.

What We Like πŸ‘

  • Excellent coverage area per can.
  • Easy to use.
  • Quick drying time.
  • Gives a professional-looking finish.

What Could Improve πŸ‘Ž

  • Strong fumes
  • It may not be suitable for people who do not like a Bronze finish.

3. Krylon Fusion – Best All-In-One Door Knob Spray Paint

Unlike most spray paint, Krylon Fusion does not need you to sand or prime your door knobs before paint.

This can be a great way to save you time when spray painting door knobs. However, I would still advise you to prep, prime, and sand the knobs before painting for the best results.

The paint is available in different styles and colors.

It comes in a 12-ounce can, ensuring enough coverage even when painting many door knobs.

With an ergonomic design, spraying is easy, especially when spraying your door knobs at odd angles.

What We Like πŸ‘Ž

  • Ergonomic and easy-to-use design
  • Self-priming formula.
  • Durable.
  • Comes in different colors and finishes.

What Could Improve πŸ‘

  • Only comes in a 12-ounce can.
  • Fumes are more hazardous than water-based paints.

Pros and Cons of Spray Painting Door Knobs


  • Cost-effective: Spray painting allows you to save upwards of 50% on the cost of buying new ones. You may save even more if you are dealing with many door knobs.

  • Easy application process: While the process might take time, it is easy, and anyone can perform it. To help you with this, I have shared a step-by-step guide.

  • Reviving your door knobs: Spray painting is an easier way of giving your knobs a brand-new look. It can also be a way to paint your knobs and hardware to match your doors.

  • Getting a professional finish: Spray painting makes it easier to give your painted door knobs a professional-looking finish. This is not the case with other methods, such as using a brush.


  • Takes time: Unlike buying new knobs and installing them, spray painting will require more time. You must prep, sand, prime, and apply the paint. You will also have to give enough time for each coat of paint, top coat, and primer to dry.

  • Uneven finish: When you do not properly prep or apply the paint and primer correctly, you risk having an uneven finish.

How Long Will It Take My Painted Door Knobs to Completely Dry?

When door knobs are spray painted, the paint may take 20 minutes to a few hours to dry to the touch, depending on the type and brand of paint you are using.

However, it can take 2 to 3 days for the knobs to be properly cured – it is advisable to wait for them to cure before reinstalling them.

It is also important to note that these drying times are not set in stones and may be affected by various factors.

Some of the factors may include type of paint, weather conditions, thickness of your paint, and brand of paint.

To ensure that your paint gives you the best results and dries how it is supposed to, we recommend you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on usage and application.

How to Prevent Paint Rubbing Off or Dripping When Spray Painting Door Knobs

You can do a few things to prevent paint from dripping or rubbing off. These may include:

  • Apply thin coats of paint.
  • Letting each coat of paint dry before applying the next coat.
  • Apply the paint and primer using a consistent sweeping motion without staying in one spot longer.
  • Allowing the paint to properly dry and cure after the spraying process.

Does Spray Painting Door Knobs Last?

Yes, spray painting door knobs makes them more durable.

Spray painting makes your door knobs look aesthetically pleasing and provides an extra layer of protection.

The paint job is a barrier between the actual door knob surface and people’s hands when using it.

It also offers added protection from scratches and the elements.

Generally, if you use high-quality spray paint, your door knob paint job can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years.

Applying an additional top coat may make the paint job last longer.

FAQs: Can You Spray Paint Door Knobs

Can I use Chrome Spray Paint on Door Knobs and Handles?

Yes, you can use chrome spray paint on doors knobs and handles. Make sure you use high-quality spray paint, prep the door hardware, and prime them properly before spray painting to ensure you get the best and most durable finish.

Can I Spray Paint Door Knobs Without Priming?

Yes, you can spray paint door knobs without priming, especially using self-priming (2-in-1) paint. However, we advise against this if you use normal spray paint because your painted knobs will not have a good finish, and the paint will not be durable.

Can Brass Door Knobs and Hardware be Spray Painted?

Yes, you can spray paint brass door knobs and hardware. To get the best finish, you should prep the items, prime them using a quality spray, and apply several coats of enamel spray paint. You can also use other spray paint designed for metallic surfaces to paint your brass door knobs and hardware.

What is the Best Type of Paint to Use When Spraying Door Knobs?

The best type of spray paint to use on door knobs is enamel spray paint. Enamel spray paint is suitable for both indoor and outdoor door knobs. The paint can withstand frequent handling and is durable. If you want your painted knobs to last longer, you should consider applying a clear top coat to provide extra protection to your paint job.

Can I spray Paint Old Door Knobs Without Sanding or Priming?

Yes, you can spray paint old door knobs without priming or sanding. However, we discourage you from doing so because your paint will not adhere well to the surface, and you will not get a professional finish. Also, your painted door knobs will not last longer before you repaint them.

Does Spray Painting Door Knobs and Other Door Hardware Save Money?

Yes, you can save money by spray painting your door knobs rather than buying new ones. If you are spray paint one or 2 door knobs, you may expect to save from 50% upwards. The more doors knobs and hardware you have to paint, the higher the percentage of saving you can expect to make.

Can I Spray Paint Door Knobs Without Removing Them?

Yes, you can spray door knobs without removing them. You must tape off the area surrounding the door knob before spray painting. However, if you would like a better and professional-looking finish, we recommend that you remove the knobs, spray paint, and reinstall them after they have cured.

Content Summary – Can You Spray Paint Door Knobs

Spray painting door knobs and handles can be a cost-effective way of giving them a revived look.

It allows you to save money compared to buying new door knobs. This is true if you are dealing with many door knobs.

The best part about spray painting your knobs is that you can do it yourself.

Even if you have never done it, following the spray paint method outlined above can get the best results.

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