Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Update Your Kitchen (or Bathroom!) Hardware

Becca here with a quick and easy way to update the look of your kitchen!  I've mentioned a few times that we recently moved, and although my whole family truly loves it here, and we have lots of land and room to explore, the house was built in the 80s and hadn't had any renovations or updating at all.  Most things were in great shape, but some of the finishes weren't my favorite.  Meaning nearly everything was shiny brass.  We had 88 (!) handles total in the kitchen and bathrooms, and they were all really nice quality, solid brass handles that there was nothing wrong with, except that they were very shiny gold brass, not the look that I was going for.  To replace them would have been at least several hundred dollars, and could have easily cost close to a thousand dollars!  I thought a darker color metal on the darker colored wood cabinets we have would look better, and have never been one to shy away from painting, so I googled a bit, and then started removing hardware.  I chose one of my favorite spray paint colors, "Oil Rubbed Bronze" and am so thrilled with the way they turned out, and got a lot of questions after I posted about it on my personal facebook page, so I thought I would share the 'recipe' for success here today in case you have some hardware you'd like to refinish.  I also used this same method to paint my (also nice quality and solid brass, but not my style) kitchen chandelier turquoise, and am thrilled with the way it turned out also.  Be sure and read all the way through before you begin, to make sure you have the correct supplies!

1) Remove the hardware you want to paint.  Be sure and save the screws!  If it's dirty at all, wash it with water.

2) While you have the hardware off is a great time to clean your cabinets.  I know, not exactly fun, but it's also a great job to have kids help with (my sons, ages 3 & 6, did 75% of my cabinet cleaning), and you'll be happy you did it later!  I use a bottle of Murphy's Oil that I've had forever, a little bit goes a long way!

3) Get an area ready to use for your painting spot.  I like to use a cardboard box turned upside down.  Make sure it's well ventilated, and that the temperature isn't too hot or too cold.  If you're comfortable and not freezing or sweating profusely while you're spray painting, it's probably great, and will 'cure' fine.  I usually do this outside, or in the garage with the large doors open.  You don't want to spray paint with children around, I have all four of mine stay inside while I'm spray painting.

4) Lay your hardware out in a single layer on your painting surface, making sure they aren't too close so you can get the sides of each piece.

5) Prime.  If there is any corrosion or pitting at all, I use a primer for 'rusty metal'.  I usually use Rustoleum brand (no affiliation :) and it's a dark reddish color.  There was a bit of pitting on my brass handles, and this prohibits further damage, as well as smoothing out any texture issues you may have, so the top finish is smooth.  The spray paint I use says that it doesn't require primer, but I always use it anyway, since kitchen and bathroom handles gets lots of daily use.  Let this dry a few minutes, there is a window of time that it is okay to painting during (usually 15 minutes after, or 48 hours later, but read your primer's instructions!!)

6) Paint.  Again, no one paying me to say anything, but I use Rustoleum brand from Walmart, it's around $5 a can, and I used one can for all 88 of my handles!  My favorite is the "Universal Metallic, Oil-Rubbed Bronze" color.  Remember to do light coats, and move quickly over the handles; never hold your hand still!!  With this many handles, I did a light coat, and by the time I got to the end I was able to go back and do another light coat on the ones I had started with.  Be sure to paint both sides of the handles!

7) Let the handles dry thoroughly.  The 'touch time' is usually a few hours, but the time to fully cure is longer, usually 24 hours at least.  I would wait the full cure time before re-installing.

8) Enjoy your new, updated kitchen hardware, and think of all of the money you saved in just a couple of hours of easy work!  We would love to see YOUR before and after pictures; you can email them to

1 comment:

  1. I have recycled many a hardware with this technique! I love their brushed nickel too! The great thing about the metallics is the wait time is all in the curing! Which is definitely a step not to skip. Great advice!