Thursday, August 4, 2011

Painting Knobs Oil Rubbed Bronze

I made the decision that my shiny gold kitchen knobs had to go.  Do you see them in the background?  Strutting their gold like it was the 90’s.  It doesn’t help that they are attached to cabinets with a gold-ish finish – but don’t worry I have plans for the cabinets.  I decided that before I give my kitchen a complete makeover (starting with the knobs, building a microwave island I talked about here, updating appliances to stainless steel, and finishing with giving the cabinets a nice coat of white paint) I just wanted to get my toes wet with a knob makeover.  AKA baby steps to see if I could handle a full on kitchen makeover with the white paint and all.  I went back and forth between ORB and some sort of silver finish but in the end choose ORB because it would create more of a county feel in the kitchen and match the canisters and hardware on my white hutch.

It just so happened that in our garage we had some cabinets with identical knobs, which worked great for testers.  I first started by sanding the knobs to give the spray paint a better surface to adhere to.

I screwed some holes in an old piece of scrap wood and attached the knobs.  I did this for a couple of reasons. Number one, I saw a huge potential for the knobs to roll around and fall off if they weren’t attached to something.  Number two, attaching the knobs allowed me to be able to tilt the board to get better access to all sides of the knob.

Then I cracked open my Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint in oil rubbed bronze I bought at Home Depot.  I then made my first mistake, oops!  I sprayed on too thick – can you see the gloppy residue?  I would suggest several light coats, but this being my first time spray painting without the help of the hubby there was a learning curve.  If it is too goopy the paint will not dry properly or quickly making your paint job easy to dent or smear.  Think about when you put too much toenail polish on and you think it's dry, but after you take your toes out of your socks, suprise! It's all dented and smushed, woop, woop, woop.  Well at least that happens to me - and it is the same thing with spray paint!  Side note, don't spray paint on your front lawn.  It will make a nice rectangle outline of your spray paint board.  How do I know? I just so happened to do that very thing and had to live with my rectangle while hoping the grass would grow so you wouldn't notice the black rectangle outline on our front yard.

Luckily I realized my spray paint faux pas when the paint was still wet. I wiped off the paint and put several light coats letting several hours go by in between coats.  Follow instructions on the can and take into consideration if it is extra humid, which it was, or cold, which it thankfully wasn’t. 

After the knobs had sufficiently dried I screwed one of those bad boys on the cabinets to see if I really liked it enough to commit to spray painting all of my knobs…and I loved it!

The one lesson I learned with my test knob is that I didn’t get enough spray paint on the back, so when I did the rest of the knobs I gave several coats to the back first......

and then screwed all of them to the board to finish the job.

So after all of my rambling here are the steps:
  1. Unscrew all of your knobs.
  2. Sand down the faces of the knobs.
  3. Place them face side down and do three coats of light spray paint allowing enough time in between to fully dry.
  4. Screw the knobs into an old board and give them 3-5 coats of light spray paint from all angles allowing sufficient dry time.  The number of coats is up to you and how well your spray paint is covering. 
  5. Let it dry for a really long time.  I let the whole thing dry for a week – I think it was out of sheer panic that these things wouldn’t be dry.
  6. Re-screw knobs onto your cabinets and enjoy!

The budget breakdown was around $5.00 to do all my knobs.  That sure beats the up to $4 -$5 per knob!  Here are the end results:


  1. Great effect! My parents used this spray paint for their ensuite cabinets before I staged their home for sale. It's looks like a great product! I love the effect that spray paint can do. Practice and patience and light coats are the first things to know when spray painting. You can check out their bathroom in the link down below.

  2. Jodi - I love the bathroom transformation! It is so dramatic!


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