The DIY Maven does Doorknobs

brass doorknob door The DIY Maven does Doorknobs
It’s our pleasure to introduce guest blogger DIY Maven as a contributor this week to Charles and Hudson. She is an active member of the Curbly community and has written many great posts that cover design, decorating, and diy. This week she is tackling a number of different home improvement challenges for us starting with what to do with the ubiquitous brass doorknob.


Three words: Shiny Brass Doorknobs. For many of us, they are the decor pimples we try to ignore. Oh, sure, they’re easy enough to replace, but most homes have a lot of these things. For instance, my house has 14 doors, and an average non-lock-able doorknob set is about $25, meaning I’d have to shell out 350 bucks to replace perfectly good-albeit shiny brass-doorknobs.
I decided there must be a less wasteful and less costly alternative. A bit of investigation was needed. My inquiry first led me to Architectural Classics’s guide on aging brass. This particular tutorial is for those of us lucky enough to have real brass-of which I am not one. Their guide includes a great breakdown of solutions that result in various ‘looks’. For instance 5.8g Barium to 500 ml water will result in a general aged patina. Good to know, but how many of us have real brass fixtures? I’m guess not many.
So, my next thought was metal paint. I’m leaning toward two alternatives, first, Modern Master’s Metallic Paint Collection, which, they say, will adhere to any paintable surface. The other is Liquid Stainless Steel. The later is billed as a ready-to-apply product with no preparation needed. I don’t buy this, considering shiny brass-fake or real-doorknobs generally have a laquer finish on them. If I try either the Metallic Paint or the Liquid Stainless, I would opt to brush on Wil-Bond to soften the original finish and then paint away. If it doesn’t work, I’m only out a few bucks. And if it does work, I’ll have saved myself hundreds!

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timothy dahl profile The DIY Maven does Doorknobs

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
  • ccr

    this is a great idea. i’m in a rental so I don’t know if I can change mine but i’d like too try this.

  • modhomeecteacher

    Way to go! How about ugly, antiqued brass?

  • http://www.curbly.com/DIY-Maven diy maven

    Hey Mod Teach! I think it would work. If it’s real brass, I’d do the Architectural Classics route. I’ve painted fake brass lamp bases with metal craft paint and that worked great. I did use some 220 grit to de-gloss them, however.