Interior Design Tips: How To Decorate Doorknobs

Don't replace old, ugly doorknobs. Improve them with paint and other decorating techniques which you can do yourself. Instructions and list of materials included.

While you're redecorating and thinking about new covers for counters and floors and walls and ceilings, don't overlook the little things, like doorknobs. You can have elegant doorknobs by redecorating them rather than replacing them.

Painting is the obvious way to change the look of your doorknobs. Traditional house or wall paints are not the best choices. Try metallic paints for a brand new silver, gold or pewter look, or dimensional paints to give the knobs a textured look. Metallic paints usually dry very quickly and go on easily with a paintbrush. Use side-to-side or up and down strokes for the best appearance when dry. Sometimes one coat of metallic paint is sufficient. Textured paints go on in globs, but look fabulous after they're dry. For this type of paint, use the brush or a piece of foam to dab the paint around on the knob. When dry, apply one more coat. Two coats will usually do. After the last coat, embed something in the paint, like rhinestones. One large stone directly in the center looks good. To hold the stone while the paint dries, use a piece of masking tape to go from the side of the door, over the top of the stone, then stick the tape to the door. The technique won't work for regular paint, but dimension paint sets up and holds the stone. When using other paints, wait until dry, then glue the stone to the knob.

Rub-on appliques brighten doorknobs for bedrooms and bath. Rub a tulip pattern on the knob, butterflies, ladybugs, starfish, or a flower garden. Some surfaces will have to be sanded first before the rub-ons will cling; check the applique package to see if your doorknob needs any treatment before placing the rub-ons. You can paint the knobs a color that will coordinate with the appliques before putting them on.

If you're a good artist, paint a small scene on each individual doorknob. It could be a country road, a lake with geese, whatever you wish. The outcome is beautiful and unique. If you're not so great at freehand art, use stencils to get a similar effect.

Purchase flat metallic initials or monograms that can be glued to the knobs. Metallic pieces come in shapes, too. Try putting a metal boat on a bathroom door, a bike on a boy's doorknob or a teddy bear on a girl's doorknob. Wooden shapes are similar and can be painted any way you desire, then glued to the knob.

Hangers are popular for decorating doorknobs. They come in foam shapes or wood and have a hole cut out for the knob. They hang around the doorknob and come in different varieties. Some have designs like stars or shells, others have key holders, and still others have a pad for leaving messages.

Try combining a couple of different methods together, like painting the knobs metallic then using rub-on appliques to decorate or use the texture paint then embed a wooden letter or shape.

Some decorating techniques will not work for certain doorknobs. For instance, the monograms can't be used on most glass multi-faceted knobs. Choose the design that works best for your own doorknob, or think of some other ways to decorate your doorknobs.

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