February 18, 2011

My Spray-On Life




Quite unexpectedly, I have become the object of ridicule/admiration in my neighborhood...all because I have been spray painting my brass door hardware.

"Oh my gosh! Are you spray painting your doorknobs?" One of my neighbors asked me this as she stood on the sidewalk and watched me spray paint my door knobs on the grass.

"I think so," I replied without looking up.

Of course, the question that she really wanted to ask but didn't was "WHY are you spray painting your door knobs?" Instead, the woman faux complimented me on my ingenuity and wondered out loud what it would be like to have a house full of painted door knobs.

After a lengthy internal dialogue, the woman concluded that it would be weird.

That was yesterday. Today no fewer than 7 of my neighbor's friends have engaged me in conversation about painted door knobs. All of the women have already swapped out their brass hardware for something more desirable. They wanted to inspect my door knobs to validate their decision to spend $1000 on new hinges.

I denied their request to tour my house, citing irreconcilable differences. I'm not sure what "irreconcilable differences" means in relation to door knobs, but it sounds authoritative and that's why I used it.

The woman who lives directly across the street was the last person to hear about the doorknobs. She has a job outside the home, and thus doesn't love her children. She also has a moral problem with paying $1000 for different colored hardware.

"Can I write down the name of the spray paint that you are using?" she asked me tonight. I studied the woman carefully, looking for signs of disgust. Only people with bad morals paint their door knobs. And mow their own lawns.

The woman smiled at me and said she had big plans for her kitchen cabinet pulls. When she told me this, I invited her in to see all of my formerly white ceiling fans.

When the woman left, I gave her one of my cans of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint as a parting gift.

When I closed the front door, my husband observed something that I hadn't noticed.

"You made a friend," he said.

*****
Here's what I'm using:

Krylon Brushed Metallic Satin Oil-Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint
Got it at Wal-Mart for $3.88/can. Works like a dream.

52 comments

Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com said...

I just used that exact spray paint to spray a lamp my mom bought for her bathroom. Although, she sadly did pay to have all the doorknobs and hinges dark. Considering her love of spraypaint she should have just sprayed them all. But she doesn't do a good job :)

Natalie said...

I don't think you are crazy. My mom used silver nail polish to paint the hinges in her kitchen. But I think she did cave and buy new drawer pulls. It looks fine.

Erin @ Curled Up With A Good Book said...

Hooray for new friends!

Lisa, An American Mom said...

Love it! So clever. Replacing door hardware is super expensive, especially in the oil-rubbed bronze look. We've done it before...

Good for you for being thrifty! Your neighbors are nuts.

Mal said...

Wow, you live in Florida right? Sounds like East San Fran Bay to me.

AzĂșcar said...

I used brushed nickel spray paint to turn my light fixtures from brass into something I could tolerate. Seriously, $5 in paint and you're set. Who doesn't love?

Jill said...

You. Are. Brilliant.

Both for thinking to paint your hardware (I'm SO copying you), and your delightful writing (which I only wish I could copy).

Watashi no Uchi said...

I think they're the weird ones! Seriously, what does it matter as long as it looks good and didn't cost that much money?! I spray painted a whole dresser in my front lawn a couple of years ago and it turned out to be one of the nicest pieces of furniture we have in our bedrooms!

Ruth Ann said...

Oh, does this mean I could spray paint my front room ceiling fan blades instead of asking my husband to switch the whole contraption with the one in my daughter's room that I like so much??
I'm more likely to get rid of the wood tone blades if I do it myself...
Oh, I think your husband is right! A friend on the block! Yay!!

kmcaffee said...

I think I am in love with you!! How crafty! I am also in love with spray paint! Last year I had the same "friendly" neighbor reactions when I painted a wicker rocking chair *gasp* red, because you know, it's against the ;aw for wicker to be "colored"!! :)

Q said...

I would have done that. Except we got lucky and found a house with all brushed nickel knobs. That and white outlets were high on my list of must-haves with my realtor.

Aubrey said...

I heart spray paint. Why spend all the money on new when $5 in spray paint can fix it?

prayersfromthepeanutgallery said...

When I was a younger mom/wife, if I could have painted my carpet I would have. And I used to live on a really upper-crust street where people all came from old money and lived off of interest...anyway I moved there for the school zone when the kids were younger...and I had to mow my own lawn. Translate=if our house was burning down, the neighborhood men couldn't even dial the fire department for me because the snobby women hated me for mowing my own lawn. I can't STAND snobby neighbor ladies.

Deanna said...

It's good to have friends. Especially when they have exactly the same hardware. LOL!

You're awesome, and and inspiration to us all.

purejoy said...

seriously love spray paint. i took all the 1960s brass window hardware and spray painted it nickle. worked like a charm and brought my house into 1980s style.
only another three decades to go.
sigh.

Christine said...

OOoohhh thanks for the tip...I'm looking at my ceiling fans and 80's style brass bathroom lighting right now with some big plans...

Deb said...

Oh THANK YOU!!!! I have been dreading replacing he hardware in my house- drawe pulls and door knobs. I had no clue there was pray paint for brushed nickel- more my style. I would definitely be our friend if you lived on my block.

Have a great day and weekend.

Deb

Dazee Dreamer said...

Your post totally cracked me up. Thanks. and good for you spray painting the hardward.

And thank goodness you have a neighbor that now the others will be jealous of because she got to have a "date" inside the house. :)

Alice said...

Awesome!!! I have been wanting to spray a Wrought-iron table base that I bought last summer on a yard sale and have been wondering what kind of paint to use. I'm going to grab some this weekend!!!

Mindy said...

Too funny, Jana! Tim's right. Nice to find someone "normal"...whatever that is! Last summer,my friend Linda re-introduced me to spray paint...I painted all my projects...without having to wait for you know who to do it! :)Awesome.

Jessica said...

It also works on bronze faucets and handles, BTW...in case you want to cause more neighborhood uproar.

sherri said...

I'm going to have to try it! I admit, I am new to spray paint, so it seems a little scary. But, I'm a mean mom too and make my 17yo teen mow our lawn *gasp* So spray paint might work for me too!

I just found your blog last night, and you brought tears of laughter to my otherwise stressed out life. Thanks for your talented, entertaining, and true perspective! I love it!

StrawberryBlond said...

I used to watch a little too much HGTV and spray painted our nobs, pulls, AND hinges (including the screws) in our old kitchen about 4 years ago. Saved us a bundle! Spray paint has come a LONG way baby.

Deanna said...

Yep, us, too.
We also spray painted doors (2 flat white doors, one white faux wood grain with inset panels and a hideous splintery wood hollow core door) to mixed results.

The celery green on flat white and faux wood looks great! The navy blue spray paint on flat white door looks ok (a little splotchy) and the tan on splintery wood door looks like crap but it is our bathroom door so no one sees it but us.

My fave saying: "Aint nothing a little spray paint can't fix".

Kira said...

The DIY toolkit:

1 can of white/black spray paint
1 roll of clear/duct tape
1 flat head screwdriver (the handle doubles as a hammer)
1 pair of needlenose pliers.
1 tube of white tooth paste (covers nail holes)

If you can't fix it with that it will probably look like crap no matter what you try.

kerrie said...

Great way to save money...and make new friends!

Yvette said...

Looks great! I think I'm going to try that with all of my brassy doorknobs.

Mom Blog said...

We bought our current home 3 years ago and the former owner had found your spraypaint, but hadn't tried it on the door knobs yet. All the downstairs light fixtures, ceiling fans and even the toilet paper holders were spray painted. I will have to try this on my white bedroom ceiling fan. Did you have to take down the ceiling fans or construct something on the ceiling to keep from getting paint on ceiling while painting your fan?
www.BlogWithMom.com

Amy Vermillion said...

Faux complimented! Made me laugh out loud.

ColleenandKendra said...

Wow! What a great idea! I have the ugly brass looking knobs, which I only just realized I hate when I read your post. I'm a working single mom (I'm going to assume you were writing with sarcasm about the "she doesn't love her kids" part) and this is going to save me big time while updating my house! Woo!

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

I spray paint everything. I have no less than 40 different kinds and colors of spray paint in my garage. It has saved me mass amounts of money over the years, and then if I want to change it, it's not like I paid a fortune. In fact, I'm only out the 3 bucks for spray paint.

Amy said...

Our contractor was cheap when he re-done our house. We got the nickle hardware we asked for in the kitchen and bathroom but he installed brass doorknobs on all the doors. I hate that it is so unmatching. I should have told him to replace them and get the ones we asked for but we were ready to get moved back in and were tired of fighting with him about all the mistakes....stupid on our part because we haven't switched them out. But spray paint? Now there is an idea...do you have to take everything apart so the knobs won't stick and not turn?

Diane said...

I'm so gettin' me some of that there spray paint! I've been cringing at all the brass in this house since we moved in here last April.
Thanks ever so much for the enlightenment and for the laugh!

The Fishes said...

One of my friends painted her white fridge black with some appliance paint - looks just like my black fridge!! We just finished spray painting our light fixtures silver :) I used silver nailpolish to touch them up after even.

Katie said...

Great job! I've done this before as well and you are right, it saves soooo much money

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long before the doorknobs chip.

Please let us know.

With your kids, I'm betting minutes...

Anonymous said...

My mother sprayed her sofa dark green. Surprisingly it looked good, although it did feel a little crusty.

Donna said...

Love that you made a down-to-earth friend. She sounds awesome compared to others on your block.

Frances said...

You have just opened up a whole new world for me. One filled with cans of $3.88 spray paint from Wal-Mart (my second home). Thanks for the insider tip.

Merri Ann said...

Unintentionally, my husband and I have been flipping houses for years (way before it was called that).

Spray paint, when done properly, does not chip. Sand lightly with some steel wool, spray on primer (if you need it to last long term), then put on your color of choice.

Believe it or not ... it does not look like it was painted.

I once got a $1200.00 ceiling fan/light for only $300.00 because they couldn't unload it with the bright brass color. I used a "Rusted Bronze" spray paint kit and completely transformed it.

Think outside the box people !!!

And, I second Erin above ... hooray for new friends ..

vanilla said...

Clever lady.

I thought most adults got over the juvenile attitudes upon graduation from high school? But then, there's probably a lot I don't know.

Mindy said...

I was laying on my bed this morning just wondering what could I do with my shiny brass and white ceiling fan.
Ahhhh! I may just have a project on my hands!

Anonymous said...

So smart! My last house had brass hardware everywhere and I detested it. Can't believe I never thought to paint it.

BookwormMom said...

I had never even considered painting my crappy doorknobs...I am totally doing it when the weather warms up here!

aubs said...

LOVE it! My freinds used to make fun of me for spray painting everything but eventually they came around and now call me for spray paint and also to decorate their houses. Why buy new when you can fix up the old?!

Stacy said...

KILZ Spray Primer is awesome, too.

You put a light coat of that on just about any surface, and then you don't have to use as much spray paint to cover it. (Especially slippery surfaces like ceiling fan blades or door knobs.)

Just sayin'. ;o)

Once you own a can of primer and a can of spray paint, the world is your oyster. You can buy stuff on clearance and paint it so it looks awesome in your house! I'm addicted, myself...

stephanie said...

One of my best friends spray painted there white FRIDGE black. You actually can't even tell! Spray paint can do some amazing things lol

echogrl2000 said...

I am so excited to try this on my cabinet pulls!!

alex said...

fantastic idea! And kudos for keeping the nosy, snobby neighbors out of your house. We're selling our house later this year but we really don't want to spend a lot of money to make it look pretty. This will seriously help update the look without spending a ton.

Elizabeth said...

Hooray for this post! Our 1960's fixer-upper has some seriously crazy stuff goin' on inside and out. This little tip will save us some serious money as we take on another home remodeling project- THANKS SO MUCH for sharing :)

janet said...

I love your blog! I have put new life into many things in my home with spray paint. Love it! We reno'd our bathroom last fall and bought new fixtures from a Habitat for Humanity Restore. They were not the finish we wanted so we bought spray primer and brushed metal spray and went to town. We also bought a coffee table/end table set from a local craigslist-type website, brought them home and sprayed them with a flat black and they look amazing! I have spayed a large wall mirror that I bought for $10 from a local thrift store, it looks awesome! I have many friends and family that come over and ask, ok what's "new" in your house. They can't believe it!