A Little Front Door Upgrade

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  September 22, 2011 — 9 Comments

I take back everything I’ve ever said about spray paint, which, in case you didn’t know, is that I hate it. Turns out I only hate using spray paint on furniture. For smaller stuff it’s awesome. But let’s back up a bit. I spent a whole week back in May working on my front porch (click to read about how I added a mailbox, painted the door, added plants, brought in art, and stripped the original hardware). This is what the area surrounding the door looked like when I was done.

And here’s the state of things four months later:

The ferns are still alive, everything’s covered in a thin layer of dirt, and I added a little chair I got for $5 at the thrift store.

I had big plans to replace the caning on this chair, but after doing some research I decided it would be more difficult than I’d thought. So I used some gardening books I picked up at an estate sale to cover up the hole and set it out here on the porch. It’s right in front of the only electrical outlet, so it makes a perfect spot to set a small radio or table fan (if I had either of those things). You can see up close how sad the seat really would be without those books.

But back to the door. Back in May I polished the original brass hardware to a lovely pinkish-golden hue, but it’s since darkened to a more reasonable antiqued tone (which I actually find delightful).

But that yellow brass deadbolt is sticking out like a rival fan at an LSU football game. Makes me wanna yell tiger bait.

Enter, the DIY standby I love to hate…spray paint.

Rustoleum metallic spray paint in antique bronze. Only six bucks at Lowe’s and perfect for this project. Would you believe that I bought this can of spray paint back in mid-August and only just now got around to using it this past weekend? It took me a while to work up the courage to trust spray paint with my heart after being burned so many, many times.

I started by taping around the edges of the deadbolt.

Then got a little paranoid and covered the surrounded 12-18 inches with sales fliers.

I had such a hard time getting the papers to stay up there! My tape just wasn’t sticking well at all. Maybe it was the Louisiana humidity? Protecting the door was may more work than the actual spray painting itself, which was waaaaaay easier than I thought. All I did was follow the directions. Shake for a full minute, spray lightly from a foot or so away, repeat. Maybe it’s because the area I was painting was so small, or maybe it’s because I was really careful to follow the directions precisely this time, but after three quick coats I had this:

I was so excited! I mean, that perfectly even finish isn’t fooling anybody right next to the authentic antique brass knob and lockplate, but at least it doesn’t scream, “Hey, look at me, I’m new-ish and awkward!” I was so excited about it I decided to shake out the rug, sweep the floor, and generally clean up the porch a bit.

So, consider my position on spray paint revised. It’s incredibly helpful for the small stuff. For anything bigger than my hand I still prefer a paintbrush. I’ve got pretty much an entire can of antique brass spray paint leftover. What do you think I should spray next? Thrift store tchotchkes? Every other little bit of shiny yellow brass I can find? My cat?

ps…it’s worth mentioning that I stuck a spare key in the deadbolt to keep it from gobbing up the lock mechanism, but after the first coat I noticed that the key blocked the paint from going on evenly, so after that I took it out and stuck it in between coats. It’s been almost a week and the lock works just fine. 

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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9 responses to A Little Front Door Upgrade

  1. That turned out great. Spray paint CAN work wonders for certain projects. Seems that it really adheres well to anything metal! Love it!

  2. Looks good! Mom says good job.

  3. Just a suggestion but the lacquer that’s on the new lock comes off with acetone. Just let it soak for a while then use an old toothbrush to get the leftovers out of the recesses.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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    [...] the door, added plants, brought in art, stripped the original hardware, and finally spray painted the deadbolt to match the knob and [...]

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