Monday, March 4, 2019

An inexpensive upgrade

When we bought this house, I knew the brass, curvy doorknobs throughout the upstairs had to go. 
I love gold, but we all know how dated these polished brass handles are. 
My goal was to replace them all right away with matte black knobs, but I must've had pregnancy brain, because I ended up with some 'meh' oil-rubbed bronze ones that were big and round and had that burnished gold distressing I didn't want.  They sat in a basket for about two years while I put the project off.  I finally got around to it this year, and decided to sell all of the knobs I'd already bought and put that money towards these beauties.
I spent twice the money on these knobs, but I loved the flat, modern profile and matte black finish.  I had never changed out knobs before, so it was a learning experience for me.  Overall, the process is very easy...but I had a couple snags with the screws that set me back a little.  I started by unscrewing everything, keeping note of where it all connects.
Then it became clear that there really isn't much you can do to screw this up.  The spindle of one knob goes through the latch mechanism to the other knob.  The biggest mistake you can make is to install the latch facing the wrong way. 
I almost did that myself, the curved part has to face the direction of the door frame so it closes smoothly. 
These knobs came with the rounded faceplates attached to the latches.  I had a lot of trouble removing the rounded latch faceplates to put on the squared ones.  I ended up bending the metal backing of the faceplate each time I pried them off, but was able to bend it back relatively easy.  I needed the squared off face plates, and I still have some work to do on these doors. 
Another pet peeve I had was that the screws they give you to attach the knob to the inside of the room are brown/aged brass in color, much different from the color of the knobs themselves. 
The screws were very close to the center spindles, so I would tighten them as much as I could by hand before using a screwdriver.  A couple of the knobs had gunk in them, and it made the screws very hard to turn.  I had to put the screws in and out of the housing with a screwdriver while it wasn't on the door to loosen everything up.   
Once the knob was replaced, I used my drill to remove the screws from the strike plates and replaced all of those.  I've got some painting in my future!
The final step was to use the drill to remove the screws from the hinges and replace them one by one, no need to remove the door totally. 
I kept the Gatehouse hinges I had bought years ago, and they matched the black knobs very well. 
I had no problems with the functionality of the new stuff, EXCEPT for our bathroom door.  For some reason, the door wouldn't shut correctly with the new hinges, even though they were exactly the same thickness and size.  The strike plate was in the same position as well, so I ended up having to spray paint the old brass hinges black for that door.  Annoying, but it worked.  I love the new knobs and hinges so much!
And while I couldn't match up the lighting exactly right, here is a great before and after to show how much more striking the black hardware looks in the hallway. 
This project cost me $215 for all 7 knobs and two boxes of hinges.  I think it was such a small investment for a lot of impact!


  1. Looks great! I thought I should comment because I always get excited when you post something and it shows up in my Feedly. It's just so rare to have someone blog about "normal" everyday house updates that I could actually recreate on my weekends, etc. Thank you for the great content, no matter how rarely you post!

  2. Looks phenomenal Sara. Love the light fixture and rugs too.

  3. How did you spray paint the door hinges for your bathroom. Did you remove them or spray them while on the door. Love the black knobs.


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