A 15 month ORB handle update.

Flashback to January 2011. I was just starting to accessorize our new home and began spray painting everything in sight, including all of the dated brass fixtures.



Yes… I know it’s upside down  ):

That was using Krylon’s ORB spray paint, with no prep other than a thorough cleaning.

Fast forward exactly 15 months later… and here’s the same handle from the last pic:

Looking good, right?

Well… here’s the other side of that handle:


I’ve been putting this off for a while, because I had much more exciting D&R projects to fill my time. But enough was enough.

Here’s how every other door handle in the house was looking:

Some were fine, some had a few nicks, and others were a hot mess.

I decided I’d go by the book this time, and that meant sanding and using deglosser. I read that sandpaper (even fine grit) was just too rough for the finish, so I spent about 3 hours and 6 handfuls of steel wool trying to prep the surface as best as I could.

As you can see, the old paint didn’t fully remove, which literally would have taken days (especially with this intricate style handle and hard to reach spots). So I called it a night and came back the next morning with fresh hands.

For this round, I decided to try Rustoleum’s version. We had used it several months back on our guest bathroom fixtures, and those are still going strong. I also prefer the brown/gold fleck quality it has over Krylon’s, which was more of a flat black indoors.

After thoroughly wiping with deglosser, I applied the first coat:

Four or five light, even coats later, these babies were ready to go:

Note: The coloring always looks lighter outdoors/in the sun.

And we’re back to square one…

…for now. When I was using the drill on one of the screws, the metal on metal contact did scratch some of the paint off. I do not have high hopes for these things, quite honestly. Maybe we just have to be more careful about banging hard objects against the handles…
But the good news is, our guest bath finish still looks great!

I think as long as they don’t encounter blunt force trauma with anything metal, they will hold up. But we all know life happens, and that can’t always be prevented. Check back in 15 months for another update 🙂


In unrelated news… I’ve been published!

Yep, that’s our bedroom wall

I’m so honored and humbled to have been chosen for an interview for Jacksonville Magazine’s June 2012 issue.

But the most exciting part of this week begins in just 6 hours, when I head to the airport to see my family for the first time since Christmas. They never travel (they haven’t even been east of Utah!) so this will be such a good experience for them. I can’t wait to show them how the South/East Coast lives… maybe I can convince them to move here 🙂

Time to get back to cleaning/laundry/yardwork/grocery-ing before they arrive. Have an amazing week, everyone!

20 thoughts on “A 15 month ORB handle update.

  1. We need to spray paint our door handles too so thanks for the tutorial! And I didn't realize you were so close. I love reading your blog but thought you lived somewhere else in Florida. I live about a hour south of Jax, and come up there quite often for shopping. Anyways, love your house. Please keep up with all the awesome projects!

  2. Do you have a secret for getting that Rust-oleum sprayer to work? I loved the color, and was really excited when I bought it, but all3 cans clogged, literally, within 10 seconds of using, and there was no fixing it. I tried calling the toll-free number on the back for some advice, and it was disconnected!

    So I gave up, very disappointed! Please let me know if you have a secret for getting that sprayer to work!

  3. My spraypainted handles are doing the same thing! Hmmm. On another note I am so proud of you (even though I don't know you ha) and your design business. You & your work deserve the recognition! Way to go! Have fun with your family!

  4. I think it really just depends on the can you get. It got clogged a few times with this can… one shot would come out splotchy and the other perfectly smooth. Guess it's just the nature of the beast?

  5. congrats on the article! I love the maps and would like to purchase some for my living room. Can you tell me the size and color that you have on the wall?

  6. I spray painted my old door handles (got the idea from you) using that exact same Rustoleum paint. So far so good, I'll let you know if I run into any problems.

    Even with the set back, it is still a great idea that saved me some money I didn't have to spare during my home reno.

  7. I've been looking at your blog. I am from California,too. Great pictures! What kind of camera do you have?

  8. What a Beautiful Job, Nice Easy Work!

    Would the handles be safe and not toxic since our hands touch them often?

  9. I haven't really thought about that before… ha. I figure they would have taken that into consideration with it being suitable for so many different indoor and outdoor uses. And lots of other people (with children) have done it, so I'll take my chances 🙂

  10. I love ORB and thought about doing this with my tub/shower faucets too. Can you give an update on how they are holding up? Did you seal it with anything beyond the ORB?

    Also how are are your door handles holding up 2 yrs later? Thanks for this!

  11. We didn't seal it with anything, but we moved last year so I'm really not sure how they are holding up! I doubt they will last forever though so I won't be painting any more handles again. I think it's worth it to just buy them.

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