Refinishing door hardware Part 2: Sanding

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Progress Posts

Ok, so you gathered up the supply list and now you are ready to jump in.  A word of warning: this part is not fun.  I did not enjoy this part of the project.  But there is a bright side–after we completed a large part of our hardware, we (meaning my brilliant husband) thought of a much easier way to finish it up.  Therefore, you will benefit totally from his brilliance, and we will have partial benefit.

Sanding step 1:  Remove your hardware.  The difficult way (if you have extremely heavy, composite doors) is to take it all off at once and prop the doors in various spots in your house for at least 2 days.  Be strategic with this if you have more than one bathroom.  With all the doors we have, we divided them into groups and only worked on 6-7 doors at a time, making sure that at least one bathroom in the house still had a door.

The brilliant way to accomplish this project without removing any doors is to only remove one hinge at a time from the doors.  WAY easier, people.  Holding those doors up to screw the hinges back in was NOT EASY.  And I was the one with the drill, not the door.

We kept all the screws together in a small box so that we didn’t lose any of them.  You do not need to sand the screws.

Step 2: Using coarse steel wool or sand paper, remove the shiny coat from your hardware.  I found it easier to use the sand paper on flat parts (mainly the hinges) and the steel wool on the curvy portions (the handles).  We have the lever type of handle on our doors, so you may find that using only sandpaper works fine for you, depending on your particular hardware.

I bought this bag because I wasn’t sure which one I would need, but I only used the coarse grade.  It took about an hour, give or take, to do this step for 6 doors, not including the hinges.  You will need to use the steel wool over a box/bucket to catch the pieces that fall off.  I used on pad of steel wool per 6 doors before it got small enough that I needed to change to another.

Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies:

Another shot.  I actually like the sanded look way better than the shiny!

Step 3:  Now you need to wash the hardware in warm, soapy water.  I did not immerse them in the water, and I only washed the areas that I sanded.  I didn’t want to remove the lubrication in the moving parts of the door.  Rinse.

We removed the parts the night before I wanted to spray them so that they had plenty of time to dry.  I dried the parts I could with a rag and laid them out to dry overnight.  Make sure that the water cannot puddle (lay them to achieve good drainage).  I did have one that drained water after an entire night to dry.  It didn’t affect the painting for that handle, but you don’t want paint going on top of wet parts!

Stay tuned for the next step: priming!

All posts in this series:

Refinish door hardware part 1: Supply list

Refinish door hardware part 2: Sanding

Refinish door hardware part 3: Priming

Refinish door hardware part 4: Painting

Refinish door hardware part 5: Sealing

Refinish door hardware part 6: The Reveal!  And more tips

Refinish door hardware part 7: One month update


This project is linked to The DIY Club’s Krylon Pretty in Paint Party.  Click on the link to check out all the other inspiring projects using spray paint!


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