Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I've officially been ORB'd

Okay, well not me as much as my doorknobs. This weekend I decided to embark on my first DIY home project.  ORB spray painting my sad, awful, builder basic gold door levers. (I should have taken pictures, but realized this after I had already taken them down and sprayed them once...but they look pretty much like this except its a squarish lever instead of a doorknob:

Gross! (okay..I'm sure some people like this look, so to each his own) I had been dreaming of replacing them all with brushed nickel ones for quite a while, but wasn't ready to pay like $15-$20 per lever. Then I read about painting things such as doorknobs and levers and saw how lovely oil rubbed bronze looked, and thought I'd give it a whirl. Mind you, all of this was without my hubby's blessing. He wasn't too keen on the idea, thought it would look bad, and would eventually wear away. He was however sold on ORB as opposed to brushed nickel, so with his blessing (sort of), I began doing some online research on how best to approach this task.

First up-buying supplies.  I can't even tell you how fun it was to go into a hardware store. Yes, I realize that sounds odd. It just had a nice feel, and I felt like a homeowner in there buying stuff to improve my home. I found the steel wool and spray paint in no time. Even grabbed some Benjamin Moore chips of some colors I want to try out in the bathroom and kitchen.  I could not, for the life of me find the liquid deglosser though. I wondered aisles forever for three whole minutes before I asked for help. Of course, it was right in front of me the whole time.  I was hoping to score Next deglosser because it's low VOC and biodegradable but no dice. I checked on out and walked happily to my car with my little paper bag of supplies.

Next up was figuring out my plan of attack.  I had six doors total (not bad) but two of them would need to be functioning for the day (bathroom and kids room thanks to naps, etc.).  My original plan was to take off all the doors and hardware with the exception of the bathroom and kids room, prep and paint, then when they were all dry put them back up, but use two doors for the bathroom and kids room so I could get those done. Good plan? Not so much. Mainly because the hinges in the bathroom and kids room were like super glued shut. I realize I could have WD-40'd them or come up with something more creative, but I was just so darn anxious to actually get a DIY project checked off my list I decided for now I'd just do the door hardware.  So off it all came!!

Once off I sanded them all down with wool steel to rough them up.  I then used the liquid deglosser to get them, well, I guess deglossy? I let those dry for a bit then started spraying.  Okay, well it wasn't that easy.  I was initially going to do this project out in the garage, but decided since Tay was napping I would just do it on the deck.  I laid out some towels and lots of cardboard, and punctured the hardware in the cardboard so it would sort of stand up. Once everything was set I nervously sprayed my first coat, repeating to myself, thin and even, thin and even. Here's the thing...being on my small deck, and worrying that I'd start spraying the walls didn't really allow me the freedom to spray 1.) thin or b.) evenly.  I shrugged, walked inside and waiting 20 or so minutes before heading back out for coat #2. I was pretty excited with how they were looking, and though they weren't completely evenly covered, I knew I had two more coats to go so I was confident I'd get it worked out.  I sprayed another coat, waited, sprayed another coat and waited some more. Thinking I was done I figured I'd wait six or so hours before bringing everything in and taking the hardware off the kids door and the bathroom door.  I took the kids out for lunch and a play date and was so excited to get home and start reaping the fruits of my labor.  Unfortunately, what happened was once dry, I realized I missed some areas. Nothing important, just the inside of the lever for the most part, but never the less, more spray was needed.

A few more hours later and everything looked ORBelicious!  It was getting a little damp outside, so I brought everything in to dry some more. A few more hours of drying and I was re-installing the levers and hardware. Woohoo!! I felt like my doors were straight from a Pottery Barn catalogue. I was thrilled, and ready to conquer the last two sets of hardware. And here, is where I made another little mistake...

Do not. I repeat. Do not spray paint when it is damp/rainy out. holy banana peppers it took FOREVER for them to try. I'm talking, overnight not fully dry.  It was more of the same as far as missing some spots and having to do more coats then planned, but in the end it was successful.

Here's an awful picture of one of the finished levers:

I'm so happy I decided to go this route and now only have a few more things, which I've decided I will just purchase. I need to get all new ORB hinges, because it does look pretty silly having ORB doorknobs and goldish with white paint spattered across it hinges. I also need to get those circle sliding closet pulls, which I can just buy for like $2.00 for a set of two.  The only thing I need to decide is if I want to paint the handle to the slider, which I've decided if I do I need the kids and hubby gone since the slider will be open the whole time.

I will say I did learn some things from my first home DIY project. I think the most important is that next time I spray paint I'm doing it in the garage. I needed way more range to get the coats thin and even than I had, and I think being in a larger space outside will help with fumes and drying.

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