How To Quickly Clean & Spray Paint Hardware For Furniture

Posted in Furniture Makeover
How To Quickly Clean & Spray Paint Hardware For Furniture

Updating the hardware on your furniture makeovers doesn’t need to be timely or difficult to be beautiful. When it’s appropriate, I like to spray paint hardware for furniture to complement the finish I’m doing. It’s a quick and easy process that dramatically changes the way the hardware looks and can a lot of value to your piece.

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How To Quickly Update That Ugly Hardware

Here's a quick easy way to spray paint hardware on your next furniture makeover.

How To Clean Hardware Before Spray Painting

Before you can spray paint hardware, be sure to clean it well. Years of grime and dirt and even loose paint can cause the paint not to adhere well, and you’ll have a nasty sticky mess on your hands.

To clean the hardware before painting, pour white distilled vinegar into a container with the hardware. Add enough to cover them completely.

I soak furniture pulls in white vinegar to clean before spray painting hardware.

After several hours or soaking overnight in the vinegar, use a brush to clean them well. An old toothbrush works well for detailed hardware.

*Do not brush your teeth with this toothbrush after using it for cleaning old hardware. Add it to your furniture refinishing tool kit! It sounds like a no-brainer, but I want to make that super clear. 🙂

Lightly scrub away old paint and years of grime before spray painting hardware. A toothbrush works well.

If you want to speed up the process or have old paint that needs to be removed from the hardware, you can add a vinegar and water mixture (1:1 ratio) to a crockpot and set it on high and cook the grunge and paint off. It works like a charm!

This can be a stinky process, so you’ll want to do this in a location other than inside your home. Be mindful that old paint can also contain lead and be harmful if the fumes are inhaled. Protect your hands and lungs! I have an old crockpot that I found at the goodwill and have designated it for all my hardware cooking.

*Do not reuse the crockpot to cook food in after cleaning hardware. The chemicals in old paints can be harmful if ingested.

Be sure to clean the old hardware before painting.

Rinse with clear water and allow to dry.

How To Spray Paint Hardware

When you spray paint hardware, be sure to use good quality paint that adheres to most surfaces. I like Rust-oleum paint and primer in one.

How to quickly spray paint hardware for your next furniture makeover.

Holding the can about 6-8 away, spray a light coat, and allow to dry. I find it’s better to add layers than to paint a thick coat on all at once. Allow drying 24 hours in a controlled environment, and then they’re ready for installation.

I used a high gloss spray paint for these french provincial pulls.
Painting furniture hardware can make a dramatic statement on your furniture makeovers.

Want to see how this one turned out? CLICK HERE to see how I painted bold stripes on this french provincial dresser. Thanks for joining me today, and I hope that this will inspire you to be creative in your furniture makeovers. I’d love to know how you update your hardware. Do you paint or leave the original finish? Please drop me a comment below. Happy painting!

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. Hey Do! Love your work so much!
    Got a question, I’m redoing the old windows in my house, and l use ketchup to clean the brass hardware… Will vinegar work just as well? (The family would love it if I quit using up all the ketchup!)
    Thanks, keep on painting!

    1. ? Great question! I’ve used both but not sure which would be better. The ketchup doesn’t stink as bad but if your family is missing their french fry buddy, try the vinegar. Thanks for the laugh. Happy painting to you too dear. xo

  2. It’s the vinegar and tomato acid that’s cleaning the tarnish.
    Vinegar is simply less diluted and less expensive.

  3. Hi Do!
    Thank you for such great tutorials! You are a very talented artist and wonderful teacher.

    I found your post on painting hardware in my pursuit of finding a solution for salvaging the hinges on my 1970s china cabinet. I’ve redone the whole piece but the hinges are too ugly to put back as is. I can’t replace them because the size is now obsolete. My question is, can I paint them without clogging the joints and hindering the movement?

    I really appreciate any advice you have.
    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Val!
      Yes, you can. Clean them well first, and allow them to dry. Use spray paint for metal, and spray a super light coat of paint on them. Allow to dry, and if needed, spray a second coat. Keep the coats of paint light so that it doesn’t clog up the hinges. I’ve done this more times than I can count. Good luck with your project. 🙂 xo

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