Painting drawer hardware is really easy to do and can make-or-break the overall appearance of your furniture.
The most common challenge when painting hardware is getting an even paint coverage… which is really no challenge at all… just keep reading!
Most people lay the hardware on a flat surface and start spray-painting. This is how I did it for the longest time. This works okay, but the paint often pools around the handles. You also have to move the hardware around to get coverage on the back and sides. This is messy and can leave fingerprints and flaws in your finish.
Here’s an Easy DIY 101 Tutorial on Painting Drawer Hardware.
Note the simple How-To-Tip that secures your hardware and provides a professional paint coverage!
You will need the following supplies-
- Hardware, Handles, Pulls or Knobs
- Screwdriver / Butter Knife
- 220 Grit Sand Paper
- Soap / Water
- Corrugated Cardboard Box (any sturdy piece of board will do)
- Kitchen Skewers (you can also use long nails or the original screws!)
- Scissors / Wire-Cutters to cut the Skewers to length
- Paint / Primer
1. Remove all hardware from your furniture. Confession – there have been 1 or 2 occasions when I’ve been too lazy to get my screwdriver and I’ve used a butter knife. Not very professional, but it works!
2. Wash the hardware well, then let dry. If the drawer pulls or handles are “groovaaay” (watched Austin Powers the other night), use an old toothbrush or any sort of brush to get into all the crevices to remove any debris. Austin Powers should have used his toothbrush.
3. Give the hardware a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and then wipe down well to remove all the dust. Sanding will give the wood/metal handles a little “tooth” so the primer and paint will adhere nicely.
4. Set up your painting area outdoors or in a well ventilated space.
5. Cut a piece of cardboard and fold it in half length wise (make a huge Toblerone Bar- for all you chocolate lovers out there) and poke the skewers through both sides. Skewers can be cut down to whatever length is required.
[box type=”info”] Tip – Cut your cardboard and skewers to an appropriate size that holds all your hardware. You want to make sure there is room in between to get all around spray coverage.[/box]
6. Hang your pulls, handles or knobs off the ends of the skewers for easy spray painting. Front, back and sides should be easily accessible.
7. Give the hardware 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint letting each coat dry thoroughly in-between spraying.
[box type=”info”] Tip – Always remember to wear a dust mask and eye protection when spray painting.[/box]
So there you have it…painting furniture hardware is super simple!
Old hardware, pulls, handles, and knobs, can be transformed from so-sad-so-drab to show-stopping-sensational with just a little paint!
The pulls in this tutorial belong to a scratched up salvaged veneer dresser. When I’m finished the entire piece, I’ll provide a link here.
These turned out so well, I’m tempted to wear them as earrings! 😉
Let me know what you think.
***Update – They’re adorning a chocolate brown dresser rather than my ears… take a peek here.
Hi there! Found an old record cabinet/stereo which I thought would be a fun project but I certainly didn’t realize all the pieces involved that don’t move, including the knobs/hardware on bottom piece which serves no purpose other than decor. There is no easy way to access them to remove. Any suggestions on non removable hardware? Going for your layered green and gold hardware look 🙂
Ange B says
If it’s not too late, you can use Painter’s Edge Masking Tape to mask around each bit of hardware that you want to paint, if you’re hand painting them.
If you’re using spray paint for the non removable trim hardware and non removable knobs, ensure that you mask all of the areas you don’t want painted with a piece of painter’s plastic sheeting cut to size and stick it down with painter’s edge masking tape, to ensure that your paint doesn’t bleed to where you don’t want it to be.
Do I need to remove all rust on drawer pulls before painting? We live by the ocean and our pulls rusted within a year.
Hi Maris! If you’re going for a distressed look you could paint over the rust but they will look crusty and pieces may fall off eventually. If you want a smooth ‘new’ looking hardware, yes, using a wire brush and/or sandpaper is the best idea before painting rusting metal.
I tried this method, but I still had some drips/areas that did not cover well. What is the best way to repair? Sand and re=paint? Is it better to put on a thin coat when I re=paint?
Hi Angela! Whenever I’ve had bad drip marks, I’ve used a utility knife to cut them down, sand and then repaint. If it’s a tiny drip mark, a sanding should fix it up nicely along with another thin coat of paint.
Vesta St.Clair (hope this prints. It's very light. Ugh! says
Just happened onto your site…looking for primer for laminate. (Same as”Preparer” used in tole-painting classes?) So…now I look forward to re-doing a new sew machine cabinet that came in only two not preferred colors of laminate. Love your website and would like to be put on your email list. Thank you. P.S. Love Pinterest!!!
Jackie Oliver says
This information was really useful! I love to change the look of my home often, and my bathroom is one of my favorite places to start. I would love to get some new knobs on the cabinets, and then I could paint it if I wanted. I never would have guessed that painting furniture could be so easy! All I need is spray paint, the knobs, and some cardboard.
Thank you. This information was very helpful. I will be painting old handles in beach colors to use as hooks for guests to hang their towels and bathing suits at our cabin. No more wet towels on wood floors!
LOVE this idea Susan!
Just stumbled across this post and your comment – do you have any photos / blog of how you did the old handles in beach colours? Sounds really good. We are coastal here.
How do you prep the hardware for spray painting, so that the paint won’t come off easily
Hi Radha! For spray painting my hardware, I like to take a sanding sponge (these are flexible to get into all the nooks and crannies) and give the hardware a light sanding. Then I spray a light coat of KILZ Primer. Then spray 2 coats of the color I like. Once top coated, this is a full proof way of making sure the new finish is adhered 100%.
ROSA PACE says
hOW WOULD I ACHIEVE A SHABBY CHIC DISTRESSED FINISH WITH SPRAY PAINT. I WANT A CREAM MATT OR SATIN FINISH ON A SHELL SHAPED CAST IRON CUP HANDLE FOR A WARDROBE I’M PAINTING.
Hi Rosa! Any of these distressing methods will work whether you spray paint or brush on. The simplest way is to spray, and then sand down the areas you want distressed.
Very clever idea. Thanks for sharing.
will the finish come off with daily use?
JT, if the hardware is prepped, primed and painted properly, the finish will be fine with daily use. I’ve never had a problem.