Can Door Hinges Be Painted? – How to Properly Paint Hinges

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I think everyone has seen discolored hinges before. You can see them especially in older houses where they sometimes stick out like a sour thumb. Especially if the doors have either ben painted white or the original doors were replaced by more modern doors without replacing the older door hinges.

Older doors were usually made out of wood and simply treated with some wood stain to seal and darken it. Then regular metal or brass hinges were used to install the doors and you wouldn´t really see the hinges because they fit perfectly in the color scheme of the whole installation.

But when you change or paint the doors in a lighter color scheme then these previously almost invisible hinges all of a sudden can be very prevalent. This obviously leads us to the question if they can be painted to properly hide them.

In this article, I will explain exactly when it makes sense to paint hinges and how to paint them.

You can paint door hinges but not with any regular paint. If you choose the wrong paint or if you try to paint the hinges without preparing the surface of the metal first, then you might damage the hinges in the long run or the paint might just splinter or peel off of them.

So if you want to paint your hinges then simply read on because I will explain exactly how you can paint any type of hinges properly.

Prepare the Hinges for Painting

If you want to paint your hinges then resist the temptation of simply painting over them in place or you might end up with ugly paint drops.

By painting them in place you will also not reach every part of the hinge properly resulting in some unpainted areas. It will also be hard to prepare the hinges while they are still installed.

So the first thing you have to do is to remove the hinges from the door and the wall.

This is best done with another person so that one of you can hold the door while the other one loosens the screws that keep the hinges and the door in place.

Then, to prepare the hinges for the painting step, you have to clean them properly.

If the hinges have been there for a long time then you most likely have to brush some dirt off of them. I would recommend using an old paintbrush and a lot of soapy hot water first. If that doesn´t work then try to use some dishwashing soap to clean it.

Make sure, that no crust or paint residue is left on the hinges before you paint them.

To remove any fingerprints or old paint simply use some rubbing alcohol and an old piece of cloth to clean them off.

Then put them on a surface that can get paint on it like an old piece of wood or some trash bags.

Now your hinges are ready to be painted.

You should repeat the same steps for the screws if you want them to be painted as well. I would recommend painting your screws too just to make the whole thing uniform.

Choose the Right Paint for Painting the Hinges

Unfortunately, you can simply use any type of paint for painting hinges. Regular acrylic paint or wall paint will simply chip of after a short while because they are not made to stick to metal.

You should also use spray paint to paint your hinges. If you apply the paint with a paintbrush then you might have problems with either fitting the hinges back in place or with properly moving the hinges later on because the paint was either applied too thick or unevenly.

All of that can be avoided by simply using spray paint.

Rust-Oleum is my personal favorite paint for painting metal. You can get it in multiple colors, it adheres to metal perfectly, and it is quite cheap as well. You can buy it at your local hardware store or right here on Amazon.

Paint the Hinges

Now that you finally prepared the hinges and bought the right kind of paint it´s finally time to actually paint your hinges.

I highly recommend painting the hinges in a well-ventilated area or outside. The fumes from the spray paint should not be inhaled.

Spread the hinges and your screws evenly on a plastic or wooden surface.

Shake the spray can and then carefully spray the paint on your hinges.

Try to keep the recommended distance on the package of the paint from the spray can to the hinges for optimal results.

Spray the hinges in multiple light passes instead of one thick pass. This will ensure, that the paint is spread thin and evenly on the surface of the metal.

Then let the hinges and the screws dry for a couple of hours. Then turn them carefully to the other side and repeat the process until the hinges and the screws are completely painted.

The paint should stick very well to the metal surface and you should not be able to scratch the paint off easily.

Now simply reinstall the door and the hinges. Make sure, that you don´t scratch over the surface of the hinges while installing them. Even though it should be fairly scratch-resistant you could still damage your paint job if you are not careful enough.

Installing Other Prepainted Hinges

If you don´t want to go through all the hassle of cleaning, preparing, and painting the hinges of your doors then you could simply buy prepainted hinges if you want to.

This might not always be an option because especially in older houses the hinges might be completely different sized or made then new hinges but you might find something in your local hardware store.

More and more companies realize, that people want colored hinges, and especially owners or tenants of older holmes need older models so they started to pop up in local hardware stores all over the place.

You could also buy newer correctly colored hinges and install them. But you may need to drill new holes in the wood and in the door which can lead to a nasty looking result if done incorrectly.

The cheapest way to get your hinges in a matching color to your door, however, is still painting them.

Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.

2 thoughts on “Can Door Hinges Be Painted? – How to Properly Paint Hinges”

  1. Thanks for the advice, but it’s not quite right.

    Quoting from you article: “… you can simply use any type of paint for painting hinges.”

    I think you mean “you canNOT.” A serious problem to anyone who takes your advice at face value.

    While you are at it, “will simply chip ofF” with 2 f’s.

    • Hi Tina,

      you are right that you can´t simply use any type of paint directly on hinges. But if you apply a proper primer first then you can in fact use almost every type of paint on them because the primer will
      ensure that the surface accepts almost any type of paint without chipping off. I tested this and it worked with enamel and other oil-based paints as well as latex paint and even acrylic paints.
      Just make sure that you use a proper primer and make sure to apply it correctly.


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