Our sliding glass door hardware looked TERRIBLE.
The door itself is in good shape but the sunlight & rain over the years definitely aged the hardware pretty badly.
So I decided to be doctor for an afternoon and perform a facelift :). My goal was to transform the sliding glass door hardware from a worn look to an Oil Rubbed Bronze style that would match our interior door handles & hinges.
I did this simple reinvention project for less than $23 and in one afternoon. The total time you’re actually working is close to 45 minutes.
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- Screwdriver ($4)
- Sandpaper ($4)
- Rust-Oleum Primer ($13.50)
- Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze ($7.30)
- Rust-Oleum Clear Coat ($13.50)
- These Amazon Affiliate links keep the lights on at HRT headquarters…many thanks if you use them!!
If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your sliding glass door hardware then I think the steps I share in this post could help.
Prep Work is Super Duper Important-Step 1
Removing sliding glass door hardware is really easy.
Our door handle only had 2 screws holding it in place.
Use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the screws.
Place the screws somewhere safe where they won’t get lost. You don’t want to make a trip to Lowes or Home Depot to try and find replacements.
Use 120 grit sandpaper to scuff the sliding glass door handles. This will allow the primer to bond well to surface. Make sure you rub the sandpaper over every area of the door handles, be aggressive and thorough.
Here are some photos that show you what your sliding glass door hardware will look like after they’re scuffed with the sandpaper.
Now you’re ready to prime the handles. I used gray primer but it doesn’t matter what color you choose. Rust-Oleum has never let me down so it’s my spray can product of choice. It covers well and sticks to anything- two qualities you
want absolutely need in a spray paint product.
Here’s a TIP I would use the NEXT time I do a project like this. I say “next time” because I didn’t do it this time around but learned my lesson.
Instead of laying the door handles on cardboard use a piece of drywall or wood. Place a 3 inch nail through the screw hole in the sliding glass door handle and pound it into the wood or drywall so the handle is suspended. This allows you to paint the handles without them sticking to any surface.
This will also speed up the painting process.
Lightly coat the sliding glass door hardware with the primer . Hold the spray paint can 10-16 inches above the hardware and make smooth horizontal passes. Always keep the can in motion while spraying.
The primer will dry to the touch in 20 minutes.
Be especially light with the spray primer where the door locking mechanism and keyhole are located. These are the only moving parts on the handle and therefore don’t respond well to a thick coat of primer or paint.
The directions on the spray can say you can add a second coat of primer or topcoat of paint in 1 hour. But I’ve always been able to do this within 20-30 minutes after the primer was applied.
Of course the drying time depends on temperature and humidity. So always check the primer coat for dryness before moving forward.
Lightly apply a coat of primer to the sliding glass door handle screws. You can always use steel wool or a steel brush to remove the primer from the screw threads.
The Awe-Inspiring Topcoat(s)-Step 2
The whole point of this project was to get the sliding glass door hardware to match our interior door hardware, which is oil rubbed bronze.
Rust-Oleum makes pretty much any paint color you can imagine, including oil rubbed bronze, in a spray can.
20-30 minutes after applying the primer I sprayed the handles and screws with the oil rubbed bronze topcoat (even the can looks cool, a true indicator your paint job will be awesome, :))
Always apply multiple light coats versus 1 heavy coat of paint. The light coats will dry quicker and provide the handles with a smoother finish.
The time you’re actually painting the handles will be less than a few minutes. I actually sprayed the topcoat of oil rubbed bronze (all of 1 minute) and then did my laundry in between successive coats.
This next step I absolutely love, REPEAT, LOVE!!!
The oil rubbed bronze topcoat will prevent rust from forming. But how do you protect this great topcoat from the Sun’s damaging UV protection?
Use Rust-Oleum’s clear coat. This fantastic product can also add a nice glossy look. I let the topcoat of oil rubbed bronze dry for at least 1 hour then applied multiple light coats of the clear coat to both the sliding glass door handles and screws.
Let the clear coat dry for several hours or overnight before handling it. I found this out the hard way by picking up a door handle before it dried. My fingerprints were embedded in the topcoat.
But this was fixed by adding another light layer of clear coat.
Once your sliding glass door hardware is completely dry you can reinstall it.
Here’s our door handles before and after the new paint job.
I’m super pleased with how this small project worked out. It definitely didn’t take a ton of time and we got exactly what we wanted for $7.30. A similar same door handle costs $119 at Home Depot if you want it in a bronze finish. Check out this screen shot I got from their website.
I really like Home Depot but if I can save $112 then I’ll do it all day long.
Here are the Summary Points for this tutorial
- Remove the screws that hold the sliding glass door handles together
- Place the screws somewhere safe so they won’t get lost
- Scuff the sliding glass door handle surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper
- Use Rust-Oleum to prime the sliding glass door handles
- Apply your topcoat of paint to the handles after the primer has dried (20-60 minutes)
- Wait 1 hour or until the topcoat has dried and apply a clear coat for UV protection
- Allow the clear top coat to dry for several hours or overnight
- Install the newly painted hardware back on your sliding glass door
P.S. Did you like today’s tips? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get advice and one-on-one help with your project.