ORBing hardware and painting doors

I have a lot of “favorite products”, but one that’s pretty close to the top is this.

Rust-Oleum 249131 12 oz Universal All Surface Spray Paint, Oil Rubbed Bronze Metallic (6 Pack)

Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. It can make almost anything look amazing…heaven in a bottle, basically. So if you have ugly or rusted hardware, light fixtures, or accessories, this stuff is your best friend. It’s around $7 per can, but it goes a long way and is cheaper than replacing most of the items it can transform. I always make sure I have some on hand because you never know what might need to be ORBed!

Ok, enough praise for Rustoleum (I didn’t get paid to gush, it’s just my opinion!) and on to my latest ORBing project. This little bronze lock on the door to our garage…


We could have gotten rid of it, filled in the holes, and replaced the notched out trim, but we thought the lock added a bit of character to our mostly character-less house. We don’t have any bronze hardware or accessories, though, so it looked out of place. I figured a quick coat of ORB spray paint would spruce it up and help tie it in to the oil rubbed bronze light fixtures in our kitchen.

For this kind of project, I normally would take some sandpaper or steel wool and rough up the finish to ensure good adhesion. But we never use it. We have a garage on the other side of that door and a lock on the doorknob. Other than the few nights we’ve accidentally left our garage door open, we feel pretty secure leaving this part unlocked.


So I skipped sanding and just went straight into priming. If you’re doing something that will get touched a lot, like a door knob, sanding and deglossing before priming is a must. I put the screws in a piece of cardboard so they’d be easy to spray and then taped anything I didn’t want to paint, like the inside of the lock and the latch.


I put it on a piece of cardboard outside and sprayed it with a coat of Kilz Original Spray Oil Primer. Always follow the recoating instructions on the can of spray paint. This one specifies to wait 1 hour before applying your topcoat.

Then I sprayed it with a thin layer of ORB spray paint. It specifies to recoat within 1 hour or after 24. I don’t have the patience to wait 24 hours, so I spray a thin, even coat, set a timer for 30 or 45 minutes after each coat, and then apply another thin coat, repeating this process until it’s done.

I try to let items cure for at least 48 hours in the garage before bringing them back inside so that the finish doesn’t get scratched and there aren’t any fumes.

And that’s all it took! No more awkward bronze lock for us!


It looks so much better now that it matches at least some of the finishes, like the light fixtures and the doorknob on the new patio door.


At some point in the future, we’re planning to buy new oil rubbed bronze doorknobs and hinges for the whole house. The satin nickel isn’t so bad, but this door and the pantry door are the only ones that have them.


The rest are those awful scratchy dull brownish bronze color, and all the hinges were painted white (very poorly). If all the doorknobs matched and the hinges hadn’t been painted, we’d probably leave them, but we hate the mismatched-ness (that’s a word, right?) and peeling paint.


This one little change makes me practically giddy over the possibility of all ORB hardware on our doors! Won’t it be purty? Especially once we finish painting all the doors white instead of the antique white that was on all the trim and doors when we moved in.

Here’s the before, including the antique white door (we redid trim during our living room project.)


And here’s the after, complete with a clean, white door!


Looks better, no? Guests always said they couldn’t tell that the doors and trim didn’t match, but I could tell and it drove me nuts! I was also a little embarrassed by the random piece of bronze hardware, so I’m so relieved this is done. Every time I look over there it makes me smile. It’s the little things…

I also painted the back of the front door at the same time. I had a minor fiasco a few weeks ago trying to repaint them, so I had the paint color matched to Sherwin William’s Solo. It seemed to go on a bit more smoothly, but I think I also just don’t like painting metal doors! Good thing they’re done!

Now we just have 6 more interior doors and 2 sets of bifold doors to paint. Luckily, those are wood and so much easier to do!


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