How to Paint Cabinet Hardware: Tips, Tricks


    Are you tired of the outdated hardware on your cabinets? Painting your cabinet hardware is an affordable and easy way to update your kitchen or bathroom. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to paint cabinet hardware so you can achieve a fresh and modern look in just a few simple steps. Let’s get started!

    When it comes to giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh new look, one of the easiest and affordable ways is by painting the hardware. Cabinet hardware such as knobs, handles, and hinges can easily be updated with a coat of paint to give your cabinets a brand new look without having to replace them altogether. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to paint cabinet hardware:

    1. Remove the hardware from the cabinets using a screwdriver.

    2. Clean the hardware thoroughly using a degreaser such as TSP (trisodium phosphate). This will remove any dirt, oil, or grime that may have accumulated on the hardware.

    3. Rough up the surface of the hardware using sandpaper. This will help the new paint adhere better to the surface.

    4. Apply a coat of primer to the hardware. This will help the paint adhere better and ensure that it lasts longer.

    5. Once the primer has dried, apply the paint color of your choice using a small brush or spray paint. Apply two to three thin and even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

    6. Once the paint has dried completely, reattach the hardware to the cabinets.

    By following these simple steps, you can easily update the look of your kitchen cabinets without breaking the bank.

    Gather Your Materials

    Before you begin painting your cabinet hardware, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Choosing the right paint and properly prepping the hardware are crucial steps in achieving a professional-looking finish. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the materials you’ll need and provide helpful tips and tricks to ensure your hardware painting project is a success. Whether you’re updating your kitchen or simply refreshing the look of your cabinets, follow these steps to give your hardware a fresh new look.

    Choosing the Right Paint

    When choosing paint for cabinet hardware, it’s essential to select the right type to ensure your hardware stays in tip-top shape for years to come. Here are a few types of paint to consider:


    • Spray Paint: Spray paint provides an even, professional-looking finish and is ideal for small items like cabinet hardware. Make sure to use a spray paint formulated for metal surfaces.
    • Latex Paint: Latex paint is an excellent choice for larger items like cabinet doors, but it can also be used on hardware. If you opt for latex paint, choose a high-quality formula designed for metal surfaces.
    • Oil-Based Paint: Oil-based paint is durable and offers excellent coverage, making it an excellent option for cabinet hardware. However, it can take longer to dry and requires more prep work than other types of paint.

    Once you’ve chosen the paint type, select the color and finish you want. Matte, satin, and glossy finishes are all options commonly used for cabinet hardware.

    Prepping the Hardware

    Before painting cabinet hardware, it is essential to prepare the surface properly. Here are some steps to follow:


    • Remove all hardware from the cabinets and lay them out on a protected surface.
    • Use a degreaser or rubbing alcohol to clean the hardware thoroughly.
    • If the hardware has any rust, use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove it.
    • Fill any holes or dents with wood filler and sand it smooth once it dries.
    • Use painter’s tape to cover any areas you don’t want to paint, such as screw heads or other important components.

    By prepping the hardware thoroughly, you will ensure that the paint will adhere better and last longer.

    Steps to Paint Cabinet Hardware

    Now that you have all of your materials gathered and have prepped your cabinet hardware, it’s time to start painting! Follow these simple steps for a professional-looking paint job that will refresh the look of your kitchen or any other space. From cleaning the hardware to applying the final top coat, we’ll guide you through the process to ensure a durable, long-lasting finish. Let’s get started!

    Cleaning the Hardware

    Before painting your cabinet hardware, make sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt, grime, or oils that may be present. Cleaning the hardware ensures that the paint adheres properly and lasts longer. Here are the steps you should follow:


    • Remove the hardware from the cabinets using a screwdriver.
    • Clean the hardware with a degreaser or rubbing alcohol using a soft cloth.
    • Rinse the hardware with water and dry it completely with a clean towel.
    • If there is any rust on the hardware, sand it off using a fine-grit sandpaper.
    • If there are any holes or cracks in the hardware, fill them with wood filler and let it dry completely before sanding.

    By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your cabinet hardware is clean and ready for painting.

    Applying a Primer

    Before painting the cabinet hardware, it’s important to apply a primer. This will ensure that the paint adheres to the hardware properly and provides a professional-looking finish. Here are some tips for applying a primer:


    • Choose a primer that is compatible with the type of paint you will be using.
    • Apply the primer in a well-ventilated area and use a respirator mask if necessary.
    • Use a small paintbrush to apply the primer to the hardware evenly.
    • Let the primer dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper after the primer has dried to ensure a smooth surface for painting.
    • Clean the hardware with a tack cloth to remove any debris before painting.

    By taking the time to apply a primer, you’ll set a solid foundation for painting the hardware and achieve a more durable finish.

    Painting the Hardware

    Once the hardware is thoroughly prepped and primed, it’s time to start painting. Use a thin and even layer of paint to avoid drips or clumping. Start by painting all the hard-to-reach areas first and then move on to the larger surfaces. Let the first coat of paint dry completely before moving on to the next step.

    After the first coat has been given enough time to dry, apply a thin layer of your chosen top coat. A clear protective coat can help to add additional layer of protection to your newly painted hardware. This step will ensure that your hardware is highly resistant to weather, wear and tear, and other forms of damage.

    After applying the top coat, let the hardware dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area. This step is important so that the paint will not stick or get damaged when you reinstall the hardware onto the cabinets. Once dry, reinstall your hardware by securely attaching it to your cabinets. Be very gentle as the paint takes a few days to fully cure.

    Here is a quick summary list of the steps involved in painting your cabinet hardware:


    • Gather your materials.
    • Clean and prep the hardware.
    • Apply a primer to the hardware.
    • Paint the hardware carefully and thoroughly.
    • Apply a top coat for added protection.
    • Let the hardware dry completely.
    • Reinstall the hardware onto your cabinets.

    Applying a Top Coat

    Applying a top coat to your painted cabinet hardware is essential to ensure its longevity and durability. The top coat acts as a protective layer that prevents scratches, chipping, and fading of the paint. Here are some tips on how to apply a top coat to your cabinet hardware:


    • Choose the right top coat: Select a clear protective top coat that is compatible with the type of paint and primer that you used for your cabinet hardware.
    • Use a quality brush: Use a high-quality brush to apply a thin and even coat of the top coat. Avoid using foam brushes, which can leave bubbles and streaks on the surface.
    • Apply another coat if necessary: If you want extra protection, you may apply another thin layer of the top coat after the first coat has dried completely.
    • Let it dry completely: Allow the top coat to dry completely before re-installing your cabinet hardware.

    Properly applying a top coat will ensure that your painted cabinet hardware stays beautiful and protected for a long time.

    Drying and Reinstalling the Hardware

    After painting the cabinet hardware, you will need to let it dry completely before reinstalling it. The drying time will vary depending on the type of paint you used and the weather conditions. Generally, it is best to wait at least 24 hours before handling the hardware.

    To speed up the drying process, you can set the hardware on a piece of newspaper or cardboard in a well-ventilated area. You can also use a fan to help circulate the air and dry the paint faster. However, avoid exposing the hardware to direct sunlight or high heat, as this can cause the paint to crack or peel.

    Once the hardware is dry and ready for reinstallation, you will need to make sure you remember where each piece goes. It may be helpful to label each piece or take a picture of the cabinets before removing the hardware.

    When reinstalling the hardware, use a screwdriver to secure each piece firmly in place. Test each handle or knob to make sure it is securely fastened and does not wobble.

    Here are some tips to make sure your cabinet hardware looks great after painting and reinstallation:

    • Make sure the surface is clean and dry before painting
    • Apply a thin and even coat of primer and let it dry completely before painting
    • Use a quality paintbrush or spray paint for a smooth and professional finish
    • Apply two or more coats of paint for extra durability and protection
    • Use a clear protective topcoat to prevent chips and scratches
    • Take your time to label and reinstall the hardware correctly
    • Enjoy your newly refreshed cabinets!

    Tips and Tricks

    Painting cabinet hardware can be a challenging task, but it can also be very rewarding once completed. To make sure you achieve a professional and long-lasting finish, there are various tips and tricks you can use during the painting process. These tips range from the type of paint to use to the tools and materials needed. By following these tips, you can ensure that your newly painted cabinet hardware will look fantastic and remain in excellent condition for years to come. Here are some valuable tips and tricks to keep in mind when painting your cabinet hardware.

    Using Spray Paint vs. Brush Paint

    When it comes to painting cabinet hardware, there are two popular choices: spray paint and brush paint. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and deciding which one to use will depend on your personal preferences and the type of project you are working on.

    Using spray paint is a popular choice because it provides a smooth, even finish and doesn’t require any brushes or rollers. It’s also a great option if you have a lot of cabinet hardware to paint because it can be done quickly and efficiently. However, there are some downsides to using spray paint. It can be messy, and it’s important to use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.

    On the other hand, brush paint allows for more control and precision. It’s a great option for smaller projects or for those who prefer a more hands-on approach. Using a brush also allows you to get into tight spaces and ensure that every part of the hardware is covered. However, brush painting can result in visible brush marks, and it can take longer to achieve a smooth finish.

    If you decide to use spray paint, make sure to read the instructions carefully and practice spraying on a test surface before spraying your hardware. If you choose brush paint, invest in high-quality brushes to ensure a smooth application.

    Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of each method:

    Spray Paint:


    • Smooth, even finish
    • Quick and efficient for large projects


    • Can be messy
    • Needs to be used in a well-ventilated area

    Brush Paint:


    • More control and precision
    • Great for small projects
    • Can get into tight spaces


    • Visible brush marks
    • Takes longer to achieve a smooth finish

    Applying Multiple Coats

    Applying multiple coats of paint is crucial to achieving a professional and long-lasting finish on your cabinet hardware. It’s important to use multiple thin coats instead of one thick coat to ensure proper adhesion and avoid drips.

    Allow each coat of paint to dry completely before applying the next one. This will prevent the paint from peeling or smudging, and will ensure an even and smooth finish. Most hardware will require two to three coats of paint to achieve the desired result.

    Remember to lightly sand between coats to promote adhesion and a smooth finish. Use a fine-grit sandpaper and wipe the hardware clean with a dry cloth before applying the next coat of paint.

    Using painter’s tape is a great way to protect any parts of the hardware you don’t want to paint, such as the screw holes or the back of the hardware. Simply apply the tape over these areas before painting.

    Make sure the tape is applied tightly and smoothly to prevent any paint from bleeding through. Once you’ve finished painting and the paint is dry, carefully remove the tape to reveal perfectly painted and protected hardware.

    Using Painter’s Tape

    Painter’s tape is an essential tool for painting cabinet hardware. It helps to protect areas that are not intended to be painted, and gives clean crisp lines. Here are some tips for using painter’s tape effectively:


    • Clean the surface before applying the tape to ensure it sticks properly.
    • Apply the tape carefully to avoid air bubbles or creases.
    • Press down firmly on the edges of the tape to ensure a tight seal.
    • Remove the tape slowly and carefully while the paint is still wet to prevent smudging or bleeding.
    • If applying multiple coats of paint, remove and reapply the tape between coats to avoid buildup.

    By following these tips, you can achieve a professional-looking paint job on your cabinet hardware, using painter’s tape as your best ally.

    Mistakes to Avoid

    While painting cabinet hardware can give your kitchen a fresh new look, it’s important to take the time to do it right. Mistakes can happen, but some are avoidable with proper preparation and attention to detail. In this section, we’ll discuss the common mistakes to avoid when painting cabinet hardware and how to achieve the best results. From skipping the prep work to rushing the drying time, we’ll cover everything to make sure your project is a success.

    Skipping the Prep Work

    Skipping the Prep Work

    Skipping the prep work can lead to disastrous results when painting cabinet hardware. Proper preparation is critical to ensuring that the paint adheres to the hardware and lasts for a long time. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

    • Not cleaning the hardware thoroughly before painting. Dirt, grease, and grime can interfere with adhesion, so be sure to clean the hardware with rubbing alcohol or a degreaser before you start.
    • Failing to sand the hardware. Sanding not only removes any rust or peeling paint, but also creates a rough surface that helps the paint to stick. Skipping this step can result in a flaky, uneven finish.
    • Neglecting to use a primer. Primer helps to seal the surface and provide a smooth base coat for the paint. Without it, the paint may not adhere properly and could peel or chip easily.
    • Not using painter’s tape. Painter’s tape can help to protect any areas of the hardware that you don’t want to paint. Skipping this step could result in a sloppy, uneven finish.

    By taking the time to prep your hardware properly, you’ll be able to achieve a professional-looking finish that will last for years to come.

    Not Letting the Paint Dry Completely

    One of the biggest mistakes people make when painting cabinet hardware is not allowing the paint to dry completely. Rushing the process can result in the paint not adhering properly, leaving a streaky or blotchy finish. To avoid this problem, here are a few tips:


    • Check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended drying time.
    • Avoid painting when humidity levels are high, as this can slow down the drying process.
    • When in doubt, wait an extra day before reinstalling the hardware.

    By being patient and allowing the paint to dry completely, you’ll achieve a smooth and professional-looking finish that lasts.

    Forgetting to Sand Between Coats

    One of the biggest mistakes made when painting cabinet hardware is forgetting to sand between coats. Sanding between coats is important to promote proper adhesion of the paint layers and prevent a blotchy finish. If you skip this step, the paint may not properly adhere, leading to early flaking and chipping.

    To avoid this mistake, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface between coats. This will help create a smooth surface and ensure proper adhesion. After sanding, use a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust or debris before applying the next coat.

    Remember to always wait for the previous coat to dry completely before sanding and applying the next coat. Following this step will ensure a smooth, even finish and help prolong the life of the painted hardware.

    In addition to sanding between coats, it is also important to use multiple thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat. This will also help promote proper adhesion and prevent a blotchy finish.

    By remembering to sand between coats and using multiple thin coats of paint, you can achieve a professional-looking finish on your cabinet hardware that will last for years to come.


    What kind of paint do you use on metal hardware?

    When it comes to painting metal hardware, it’s important to use a paint that is specifically designed for metal surfaces. Look for paints labeled as “metallic” or “enamel,” as these will typically have a durable finish that can withstand wear and tear. It’s also a good idea to choose a paint that is suitable for outdoor or high-traffic use, as metal hardware is often exposed to the elements. Some good options include Rust-Oleum Professional High-Performance Enamel Spray Paint and Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint.

    How do you paint cabinet hardware to last?

    To paint cabinet hardware to last, you need to follow a few steps. First, clean the hardware thoroughly using soap and water. Next, sand the hardware lightly to rough up the surface that will be painted. Apply a primer to the hardware to ensure the paint adheres well, then let it dry completely. Finally, apply a high-quality paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding another. When the final layer is dry, apply a sealant or clear coat to protect the paint and increase its durability.###

    Does spray painting cabinet hardware last?

    Yes, spray painting cabinet hardware can last as long as other refinishing methods when done properly. The key is to clean and sand the hardware thoroughly before painting it with a high-quality spray paint designed for metal surfaces. Additionally, applying a topcoat sealer can help protect the finish from wear and tear over time. However, it’s important to note that the durability of the spray-painted hardware can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the paint used, the amount of use the hardware receives, and the level of care taken when cleaning and maintaining it.

    Can I spray paint my kitchen cabinet hardware?

    Yes, you can spray paint your kitchen cabinet hardware. It’s an affordable and easy way to update the look of your kitchen without having to replace all the hardware. Make sure to clean the hardware thoroughly before painting and use a primer designed for metal surfaces. Spray in a well-ventilated area and use even coats to avoid dripping. Allow the paint to dry completely before reattaching the hardware to your cabinets.

    Final Words

    In conclusion, painting cabinet hardware can be a simple and cost-effective way to update the look of a kitchen. By gathering the right materials, choosing the appropriate paint, prepping the hardware, and following the correct steps, anyone can achieve a professional-looking finish. It’s important to avoid common mistakes like skipping the prep work, not letting the paint dry completely, or forgetting to sand between coats. By following the tips and tricks provided in this guide, anyone can successfully paint their cabinet hardware and enjoy a fresh new look in their kitchen.

    Remember that when painting cabinet hardware, it’s important to be patient and take the time to properly prepare and apply the paint. Whether using spray paint or brush paint, multiple thin coats with proper drying time in between can lead to a smooth and even finish. Painter’s tape can also be a helpful tool to use when painting to achieve clean lines and avoid accidentally painting areas that should stay unpainted. By keeping these tips in mind, anyone can successfully paint cabinet hardware and enjoy a refreshed look in their kitchen.