Today I’m sharing how to paint drawer pulls. This works for all sorts of hardware as well, including hinges and door knobs.
The process only takes a few hours, and it’s pretty simple when you break it down.
So let’s dive in!
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Painting Drawer Hardware
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- Degreasing Cleaner (I use Krud Kutter)
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Tack Cloth to get all of the sanding dust off of the hardware
- Primer (BIN Shellac Primer or Clear Shellac are my favorites!)
- Paint (Right now I love Rust-oleum Champagne Bronze)
- Topcoat (Make sure it’s compatible with your spray paint – oil or water based)
How to Paint Drawer Pulls
- Clean the Hardware
- Lightly Sand the Hardware
- Prime the Hardware
- Paint the Hardware
- Topcoat the Paint (Optional)
- Let it Dry
Step 1: Clean the Hardware
You can scrub them really really well and get them back down to almost bare metal… I have a separate blog post on How to Clean Old Furniture Hardware here!
Or you can just give them a quick scrub with a degreasing cleaner to remove the layer of dirt, grease and grime. I personally like to use Krud Kutter.
Then make sure they are completely dry.
Step 2: Lightly Sand the Hardware
This can be an optional step if you scrubbed the hardware down to bare metal, or if you use a really good bonding primer in the next step, or if the hardware isn’t in a high traffic area.
When I lightly sand, or scuff sand, I typically use 220 grit sandpaper.
I don’t want to leave too many sanding marks behind, but I want to scuff the surface to give to paint something to hold onto. Especially on slick surfaces.
Then I wipe off the dust created from the sanding.
Step 3: Prime the Hardware
The primers that I completely trust to stick to any surface (even surfaces that haven’t been sanded) are shellac based primers.
So BIN shellac primer and clear shellac. Plus they cure quickly and you can paint oil or waterbased paints over them.
If I use a shellac primer, I’ve learned that I can typically get away with not sanding beforehand.
But it never hurts to sand before either.
I like to use a spray can for a really nice finish.
When I spray with a spray can, I try to spray a couple of light coats.
And then I let it dry for about an hour before I move on to the next step.
Step 4: Paint the Hardware
My go-to right now is this champagne Rust-oleum metallic spray paint because I love this color.
I’ve had great experience with these metallic spray paints as well!
Once again, when I’m spraying I try to spray light coats, letting it dry for a few minutes between coats… basically to the point that it is a little tacky.
But most of these spray paints usually say to apply more coats within an hour, so I make sure to apply the next coat within an hour.
Or else it says to wait typically 48 hours. And nobody has time for that, right??
Step 5: Topcoat the Paint (Optional)
Step 5 is completely optional.
But if you’re worried that it’s going to get scratched up, you may want to topcoat the paint.
I typically don’t topcoat, and I haven’t had issues with durability.
But you’ll want to check to make sure that whatever topcoat you use is compatible with the paint you used.
Most of this spray paint is oil based, so you’ll want to use an oil based topcoat.
Step 6: Let it Dry
Step six is super crucial.
You’ll want to give your hardware time to dry before you put it back in operation.
Allow 24 hours before lightly using it or installing it… and then be extra careful with it for about a month while it completely cures.
Here are some extra tips that might help your project go smoother.
What kind of paint do you use on handles?
I love to use spray paint, but you can use chalk paint, acrylic paint, oil paint… The paint that I wouldn’t recommend is latex paint that is made for walls.
If using a chalk paint or acrylic paint, I would definitely top coat the painted hardware.
But no matter the paint you use, the process is the same.
If your hardware is bail pull style with a handle that moves, you can stick toothpicks where the handles attach to the back plate, so the handles stay up in the air.
Then you can spray the top and bottom of the handles, and all of the back plate all at once.
When painting hinges, you can open them all the way, so they create a triangle shape.
Spray the middle of the inside of the triangle, and then flip it over and spray the rest of the hardware.
This makes it so you can spray everything that you can see when they are installed.
Label the Hardware
Write labels on tape, and then fold the labels in half and tape them so you know where each hinge belongs.
Stick a toothpick or skewer through some paper or cardboard and then put the knob on the toothpick to help it stay upright when you spray it.
If you use a long skewer, you can keep it elevated so you can paint the underside too!
Stick screws through some paper, Styrofoam or cardboard too so you can paint the heads.
Or sometimes I spray the spray paint on some paper and brush it onto the heads instead.
Watch my “How to Paint Drawer Pulls” Video to see it in action!