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How To Paint Cabinet Hardware For An Updated Look

Are you looking for a simple way to make your cabinet doors look brand new? Sometimes you want to fully paint the cabinets, but other times it can be as simple as adding fresh paint to the original hardware. Learn everything you need to know about spray painting your cabinet hardware.

image of before painted hardware on cabinets with arrow pointing to after laundry room cabinets with black painted hardware.

We needed the cabinet handles in our laundry room to match the farmhouse brackets in our DIY laundry room shelves. Spray painting the hardware was the perfect and cheapest solution.

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Does spray painting cabinet hardware last?

If you are looking to update the feel of your kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets while staying on a budget this is a great solution. We have items in our home that have been spray painted and have lasted a long time.

Proper cleaning and priming of your old cabinet hardware are important steps. Those little things before painting gain you much time before having to purchase new cabinet pulls or door handles.

Just note that nothing is going to be as durable as a factory finish on new hardware. It also will depend on how much your pulls, door knobs, and handles are touched. For example, kitchen cabinet hardware is going to get the most wear compared to furniture hardware.

What kind of paint to use on hardware?

Hand holding black satin Rustoleum spray paint with kitchen hardware on grass.

A quality spray paint and a bonding primer before will help you change the look of your hardware. Look for spray paint that is oil-based or enamel (which is still probably oil-based).

If you are not going to be touching the hardware too much you may get away with just using this spray paint with primer already in it.

Do you need to use a primer when spraying cabinet hardware?

If you want your cabinet hardware to last, then we do recommend using a light coat of spray bonding primer. Proper cleaning and prep are equally important before painting a piece of hardware.

If they are handles you don’t touch that often, then using spray paint and primer will probably be fine. This chalk-painted dresser has spray-painted drawer pulls that still look great and we didn’t prime them. However, we only open these drawers a few times a week and they get less than normal use. 

purple painted dresser with spray painted handles.
The handles were spray painted white over 7 years ago without primer before. Buy the fun knobs like ours here.

The kitchen hardware and bathroom hardware will be touched a lot more, so we recommend using a primer.

What is the best primer for cabinet hardware?

A bonding primer will do the trick and is a good idea. Not only will this stick better than just spray paint it also will help create a level and rust-free surface. Just make sure you allow the primer to dry fully for at least 30 minutes before applying your hardware color.

Best Metallic Looking Spray Paint Colors

Rust-Oleum Metallic Paint and Primer-In-One come in many different paint color options and is probably our favorite spray paint. From black farmhouse style to rose gold there is a color for you. Here are our favorite metallic finishes to fit any home decor style.

laundry room shelves and cabinets with black hardware.

Krylon also makes their own all-in-one primer that you could use to spray paint as well. We just tend to normally use the Rustoleum brand.

What does hammered spray paint finish mean?

two cans of spray paint with text saying smooth finish for satin and textures for hammered.

Hammered spray paint will give you a textured look. This is perfect if you have imperfections on your hardware and want to hide them. 

Spray Painting Tip

Sometimes when we have spray-painted items, they get a little stuck on the extra residue. You can make a screw hole in a piece of cardboard and put the screw through it to help elevate your hardware.

cabinet hardware elevated off cardboard before spray painting.

If doing old hinges, you can even stick the screws in cardboard so they are easier to spray the same color. We did that with the hinges when we painted our bathroom vanity.

We have also seen where you can put craft sticks into foam or cardboard and use that to elevate your cabinet handles to help get full coverage. This will ensure that you are able to get at them from multiple angles.

close up of 2 cabinet handles sprayed paint with Satin black paint.

How To Get A Smooth Finish When Spray Painting

  • Use thin coats of spray paint.
  • Be patient in between coats.
  • Make sure your handles and cabinet knobs are completely dust-free before spraying.
  • Hold the spray nozzle at different angles to help fully paint the hardware.
  • Most likely at least 3 coats of spray paint will be needed.
  • Don’t try to spray paint on a really humid or windy day.
  • Use large sweeping motions when spraying. It is best if you start spraying right before the item and stop past your item. This will stop large droplets from landing on your hardware.

Can you spray old cabinet hinges?

bronze hinges being spray painted with satin nickel spray paint.

Yes, as you see above we sprayed our cabinet hinges for our bathroom vanity makeover. If remodeling our kitchen, I would most likely just purchase new hinges since they are not as expensive as new kitchen handles.

How To Spray Paint Cabinet Hardware

Links to supplies at the end of the post.

Step 1: Remove Hardware Completely

First thing is to remove the hardware. If you are only spraying handles or knobs, you can leave the screws in the cabinets so that you don’t misplace them. If spraying hinges, then you need to take the screws out to spray them.

supplies used to paint hardware handles for cabinets.

Step 2: Clean hardware.

The best way to clean it is with Dawn dish soap and clean water. You can also use a green Scothbrite pad to roughen up the surface so the primer will adhere better.

hand using Scothbrite pad to clean silver cabinet hardware.

Step 3: Prep The Surface For Paint

Wipe down with a deglosser. No matter what we are painting we always prep the surface by putting Krud Kutter on it. Let the hardware fully dry.

Step 4: Set up a spray painting station.

You can even spray them in a large cardboard box. Just make sure you are able to fully spray all surfaces of the hardware. 

Step 5: Use Bonding Primer

Cover all surfaces of your hardware with the spray bonding primer. Let dry. Put a fresh piece of cardboard down before adding color.

Step 6: Use A Light Coat Of Spray Paint

Use a light fresh coat of paint. The first coat will not completely cover the handles.

first layer of black spray paint on cabinet hardware.

Step 7: Allow Proper Dry Time

Make sure you have the right amount of dry time. We like to wait the recommended 30 minutes between coats.

Step 8: Add Another Coat

Repeat for 3 coats making sure you fully are covering the hardware. You may get away with only doing two coats, but three should make your painted handles last longer.

black spray paint on 4 kitchen cabinet handles on box.

Step 9: Let Paint Cure

Let your handles and hardware cure as long as possible. We like to let them dry overnight before putting them back on the cabinets.

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Need more cabinet painting ideas?

Learn how to repaint painted kitchen cabinets. You won’t believe the transformation our kitchen has gone through with only paint!

Painting cabinet hardware is such a great and inexpensive way to get the look you want in your home!

handles being sprayed with black spray paint.

How To Paint Cabinet Hardware

Easily update your cabinets by painting the hardware with spray paint. Full our tutorial to complete this easy DIY painting project.
Print Pin Rate
Course: DIY Home Ideas
Keyword: how to paint cabinet hardware, how to spray cabinet hardware, painted kitchen cabinet hardware
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 days
Total Time: 2 days 30 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: under $10

Equipment

  • Cardboard boxes or Cardboard
  • Screwdriver
  • Green Scotchbrite Pad

Recommended Supplies

Instructions

  • Remove hardware. If you are only spraying handles or knobs, you can leave the screws in the cabinets so that you don’t misplace them. If spraying hinges, then you need to take the screws out to spray them.
    taking off cabinet hardware before painting
  • Clean hardware. Use a green Scotchbrite and dish soap and water.
    hand using Scothbrite pad to clean silver cabinet hardware.
  • Wipe down with a deglosser.
    supplies used to paint hardware handles for cabinets.
  • Set up a spray painting station. Just make sure you are able to fully spray all surfaces of the hardware. 
  • Cover all surfaces of your hardware with the spray bonding primer. Let dry. Put a fresh piece of cardboard down before adding color.
  • Use spray paint in large sweeping motions. Let first coat fully dry.
    Hand holding black satin Rustoleum spray paint with kitchen hardware on grass.
  • Repeat for 3 coats making sure you fully are covering the hardware.
    first layer of black spray paint on cabinet hardware.
  • Let your handles and hardware cure as long as possible. We like to let them dry overnight before putting them back on the cabinets.
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