How to Paint Metal Hardware

Yesterday I showed you this gorgeous makeover on this dresser  and last week shared the makeover on another French Provincial beauty here. On both dressers I painted the hardware out because the old finish was worn off and they needed a new life to match their gorgeous makeovers. So let’s look at how to paint metal hardware.

How to Paint Metal Hardware by Vintage Charm Restored

I want to take you through the steps I use to ensure the finish will have lasting life.  With any painted hardware the more it’s touched and used, it will begin to wear and have a patina over time.  However, how much time always depends on the level of wear but also the level of care given before you ever even handle it.

I use the same method on almost all the hardware I paint… some pieces the hardware may be meant to look a little shabby, but when it’s fully painted and covered this is how to paint metal hardware as well as many other surfaces.

Step 1. I wash in a bowl of hot soapy water and use a dish brush to really scrub off any flaky paint of grime.  Sometimes it may be necessary to use other solutions to really get them cleaned.  If they have been previously painted and the paint is chipping or flaking you don’t want to paint over that as it will over time make your paint on top fail and come off.  So take the time to really get them clean.  Hot water/vinegar solution works well as does having a stripper handy for those that are a bit tougher.


Step 2.  I love using Costco boxes for painting out hardware… it’s an easy take and go kind of thing.  But the first part should be in a well ventilated area- wearing a mask never hurts.  I use Zinnser Bull’s Eye Shellac based Primer.  and spray a full coverage coat over the entire pull.  With these old pulls you never know if the metal will leach thru your paint so it’s best to prevent it in the beginning rather than painting out and seeing it come thru and have to start all over.  So Clean and Prime- 2 basic foundations that should never be skipped!!  This priming will also provide the tooth for the paint to really stick to the hardware.

Step 3. On this dresser I chose to go with the accenting color so I hand painted out the pulls with the white chalk/clay/mineral paint {American Paint Company Navajo White} and allow to dry.  I typically do 2 coats

How to Paint Metal Hardware by Vintage Charm Restored

Step 4,  I painted out 2 coats of Modern Masters Oyster to give that pearly iridescent glow to them.  This paint is super hardy and you could stop with this step.  But remember we are going for the longest finish… no need for the dresser to lose its beauty over a handle that began to wear before it’s time.

Step 5.  Topcoat or seal.  There are many sealers out there for you to use.  And often what I have on hand closest will be what I use.  There is spray polyacrylic- on lighter colors always because it doesn’t tend to yellow.  There is American Paint Top Coat- water based and also doesn’t yellow.  I love the durability of Maison Blanche top coat but I have found it does yellow- so on lighter colors this isn’t an option for me.  On these I used APC topcoat- 2 coats.


Step 6.  I attached the hardware to the drawers- I think taking hardware off and putting back on is a lot like laundry…. doing and folding okay but putting away not so fun!! Not hard- just not fun!

Step 7.  I had a touch of dark wax to let them blend in with the dresser.  And oh they are so pretty!!






Some other things you can use on hardware that make them beautiful are gilding paste and rub in buff when you have high areas that you want to highlight!! Play and have fun  just always make sure your foundation and bases have the best chance to succeed!!

Thank you for stopping in!!



Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.



don't miss a single thing. plus a free printable from time to time...

I'm In!

* indicates required
  1. Kat says:

    Really nice advise, thank you for sharing your knowledge !
    I adore your work.
    Have a lovely day.

  2. Peggy Lydem says:

    I have several pieces with hardware that I need to paint [although I was hoping to find something else] I will use your method now,after all the hardware can make the piece so why not put the work into it to make it beautiful! Thanks for the excellent detailed tutorial!

  3. dee says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! More power to you Lori!!

  4. Ruth says:

    I was searching how to paint these very handles!!

  5. Nice roundup..! Awesome tutorial. I like your hardware painting tips and ideas. This is very helpful tips for my cabinet hardware paint. Hopefully, it creates lot of fun and awesome decor. I am trying to follow your technique.
    Thanks for sharing your post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's be Friends

Connection is the key to a happy full life. 
Creativity and encouragement in your inbox?
Yes Please!! 

* indicates required


listen on: