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Old 10-12-2020, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default Painting Doorknobs

Good afternoon all! I've got a house I'm in the process of working on and altogether there are 58 doorknobs and locks. They're custom and old and beautiful in my opinion because of the natural patina yet my client wants them replaced or painted.

I'm a little apprehensive but while at SW picking up some paint I asked the guy behind the counter and he suggested the Pro Industrial DTM. He then said there's no PI primer that he can think of....which is false so now I'm skeptical of anything he said. Of course I could take the handles into an auto body shop and have them paint it but I'd like to keep my guys busy. Does anyone have a product they can think of that would hold up for a few years with minimal maintenance?

I saw SW also has Metalastic as a DTM product. I've worked with other iterations of PI but never their DTM nor the Metalastic.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstchoice01 View Post
Good afternoon all! I've got a house I'm in the process of working on and altogether there are 58 doorknobs and locks. They're custom and old and beautiful in my opinion because of the natural patina yet my client wants them replaced or painted.

I'm a little apprehensive but while at SW picking up some paint I asked the guy behind the counter and he suggested the Pro Industrial DTM. He then said there's no PI primer that he can think of....which is false so now I'm skeptical of anything he said. Of course I could take the handles into an auto body shop and have them paint it but I'd like to keep my guys busy. Does anyone have a product they can think of that would hold up for a few years with minimal maintenance?

I saw SW also has Metalastic as a DTM product. I've worked with other iterations of PI but never their DTM nor the Metalastic.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

What is the substrate material? What kind of prep? Able to blast in a cabinet?
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:39 PM   #3
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All I can think of is some good prep and the Rustoleum spray cans.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:22 PM   #4
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If they're being ruined by paint anyway, why not just replace them?
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:34 PM   #5
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I'd just replace them.

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Old 10-12-2020, 07:29 PM   #6
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I'm sure after a good degreasing a DTM would work fine for a few years. BM Ultra Spec or Rust Scat. $25 a pop. Line them up on some carboard and shoot them with your hvlp.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:43 PM   #7
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What is the substrate material? What kind of prep? Able to blast in a cabinet?
Seemingly steel because they're ferrous--oddly not brass. I can totally blast them in a cabinet, yes. Thanks for actually asking a follow up instead of saying 'replace them'. I mean, these knobs would easily cost $500 each to replace not including filling holes in the doors and refinishing them. Very unique.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:44 PM   #8
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All I can think of is some good prep and the Rustoleum spray cans.
I tried that on a knob to my shed with some good prep, a self etching primer and a can of some funky pistachio type color rattle can. It looked great for a few weeks. It just doesn't hold up to keys and a hand with a ring on it.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:51 PM   #9
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I'm sure after a good degreasing a DTM would work fine for a few years. BM Ultra Spec or Rust Scat. $25 a pop. Line them up on some carboard and shoot them with your hvlp.
Sounds like you've had some experience with DTM. I have used the BM Ultra Spec on an old aluminum sided house a few years back after some prep work. It turned out great. That's siding though, not a doorknob. That Rust Scat looks like the business! What have you used these products on?

A few years is a great amount of time to me. This is a vacation mansion situation so it'll mostly be housecleaners, house sitters and the occasional guest totaling maybe 2 months a year.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:21 PM   #10
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I looked into painting my van door handles. I was too chicken to do it, but my understanding is a self etching primer is the way to go. If you have the means I would do that, and use a cup gun or hvlp and a 3 part catalyzed industrial paint like pitt-thane or Nason or some other hardcore stuff. Pitt-thane is basically car paint. $130ish for a gallon kit, which would be more than enough to do them all. Sounds like they got the money to do it right, might as well do it right....

Not too many people get to brag about painting doorknobs...
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:45 PM   #11
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That's a very interesting idea. I've never even heard of those companies but will look into them imemdiately.
Yeah, they certainly have the cash flow. Crap, even if it was my house and my 24 knobs/deadbolts I'd rather paint them than replace all of them. Even kwikset is easily $25/handle let alone the double keyed deadbolts. It adds up quick! Generally, this type of painting is above my pay grade but this is an old client and the 4th house we've worked on for them so I've got some good will worked up in case things go sideways. Worst case scenario I lose a few bucks and have a auto body shop take care of it. Thanks again!
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Seemingly steel because they're ferrous--oddly not brass. I can totally blast them in a cabinet, yes. Thanks for actually asking a follow up instead of saying 'replace them'. I mean, these knobs would easily cost $500 each to replace not including filling holes in the doors and refinishing them. Very unique.

Blast them with the finest grit glass bead media you can find. Spray with P22 urethane alkyd (cheap but slow dry) or a catalyzed urethane like v500. Or take them to be powder coated.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:31 PM   #13
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What a shame they want to do anything with them other than appreciate them for what they are.
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstchoice01 View Post
Sounds like you've had some experience with DTM. I have used the BM Ultra Spec on an old aluminum sided house a few years back after some prep work. It turned out great. That's siding though, not a doorknob. That Rust Scat looks like the business! What have you used these products on?

A few years is a great amount of time to me. This is a vacation mansion situation so it'll mostly be housecleaners, house sitters and the occasional guest totaling maybe 2 months a year.
I've certainly never painted any doorknobs. I do from time to time spray finish window openers with a rattle can of Krylon. I've used DTM both Acrylic and oil on doors which is pretty tough, but it would be the hand oils that would concern me. I'm with Coco on probably using a straight up oil polyurethane like the P22 or the Cornado Rust Scat Poly. That's about as tough a finish as your going to get, unless you go into a 2 part or automotive finish. You could also add a clear coat to your system for added protection.
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:22 AM   #15
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If they’re ferrous and being blasted, I’m wondering how cold bluing or blackening might work instead of paint..assuming they’re cast iron and will be painted a dark color.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:47 PM   #16
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They could be powder-coated, I'd imagine. That doesn't really keep it in house, though. Any sort of coated door knob seems to start looking pretty rough after awhile. It's a hard life, being a door knob.

I'd guess the Pitt-thane might hold up the longest.

In my early days, I had a client that had a knob that was not functioning properly, so she told me to go and order a new one to replace (interior knob). I went to the supplier to order another and was shocked and appalled that it was several thousand dollars (maybe 6K, if I'm thinking right) and would take six months minimum to get. Some outfit in Italy was fabricating these on a lathe from solid brass stock and then they were sent to CA for some sort of chemical process. Luckily (for my client, although I'm not sure they cared one way or the other), I was able to rebuild some of the interior workings and get it back in shape. Personally, I'd be mighty peeved to spend so much on a knob that broke, but cost is relative.

If you can repaint them for $25/ea, it might well be moot if they need redone every few years.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:24 AM   #17
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With ferrous door hardware including doorknobs & lock-sets, I simply just clean them up, apply a blackening solution either by submersing them in the solution or directly applying it, and either oil or clear coat them. I’ve used chemical blackening and browning solutions on everything from structural I-beams, balustrades, fireplace surrounds, and lighting fixtures, whether ferrous, nickel, bronze, or brass, each metal requiring a different solution to achieve a particular patina.

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Old 10-15-2020, 03:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstchoice01 View Post
Good afternoon all! I've got a house I'm in the process of working on and altogether there are 58 doorknobs and locks. They're custom and old and beautiful in my opinion because of the natural patina yet my client wants them replaced or painted.

I'm a little apprehensive but while at SW picking up some paint I asked the guy behind the counter and he suggested the Pro Industrial DTM. He then said there's no PI primer that he can think of....which is false so now I'm skeptical of anything he said. Of course I could take the handles into an auto body shop and have them paint it but I'd like to keep my guys busy. Does anyone have a product they can think of that would hold up for a few years with minimal maintenance?

I saw SW also has Metalastic as a DTM product. I've worked with other iterations of PI but never their DTM nor the Metalastic.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
What color?
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redux View Post
With ferrous door hardware including doorknobs & lock-sets, I simply just clean them up, apply a blackening solution either by submersing them in the solution or directly applying it, and either oil or clear coat them. I’ve used chemical blackening and browning solutions on everything from structural I-beams, balustrades, fireplace surrounds, and lighting fixtures, whether ferrous, nickel, bronze, or brass, each metal requiring a different solution to achieve a particular patina.

That must be what the California people that i posted about were doing. Interesting
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #20
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I took some aluminum mini bike wheels to a local polisher he also does chrome and nickel plating. In his shop he had boxes of old antique doorknobs and hinges contractors had brought in. These things had a 100 years of paint and crud on them. He polished them up they looked brand new, no patina at all. Just new looking. It was pretty amazing all the different stuff they polished back to new. My aluminum wheels came out like chrome. If it's old metal and worth keeping it's worth polishing.
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