DIY Door Update to Change Hinge Colors Quickly

How to use Rub n Buff to change hinge colors for a quick and easy door update without removing them from door frames.

One of the quirks nobody tells you about old houses is the old door hinges you inherit with decades of previous owners’ paint mistakes.

I finally got tired of looking at our 60+ year-old paint splattered hinges and wanted to change our door hinge colors without the hassle of removing them from the door.

using Rub n Buff to paint door hinges

Sure it’s not the “correct” way, but it does the job in just 5 minutes for an easy DIY door makeover.

(Robert is currently immobile from a recent knee surgery, and I figured why not try this wild idea to fix a small detail on my own that was driving me crazy?)

Tip: You can remove paint from door hinges by placing them in an old slow cooker filled with water and a few tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent for several hours. The paint should peel right off of the metal.

To be fair… that blue paint spot on the hinge is from us with a painters tape fail. 😉

But I also wanted to change the color of hinges entirely without actually replacing the hinges.

paint on hinges

How to Change Door Hinge Colors with Rub n Buff in Minutes

Enter: Rub n Buff.

I use this Rub n Buff miracle stuff on everything.

See Also: Rub n Buff Colors Tried and Tested

Here is what the colors look like before buffing them out.

Rub n Buff colors

This post barely warrants a tutorial, if you’ve ever used Rub n Buff before but here it is anyway. 😉


  • Rub n Buff in your choice of color
  • Small paint brush or disposable vinyl/latex gloves
  • Disposable plate
  • Dry, lint-free rag
  • Painter’s tape (optional)

Step 1

Place painter’s tape around the hinges still attached to protect the front and side of the door from getting any Rub n Buff on the surface.

Step 2

Apply a dime-sized amount of Rub n Buff to a disposable paper plate. A little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard.

My favorite brass / gold shade is European Gold because it’s slightly less saturated than the other colors. But if you wanted to change your door hinges to a silver color, the Pewter and Silver Leaf shades would work well too.

I love how this muted gold pops against the Sherwin Williams Smoky Blue color we used.

Using European Gold Rub n Buff on door hinges to change the color

Step 3

Using your small paint brush or just your gloved finger, apply a thin layer of Rub n Buff to the metal door hinge.

Changed door hinge color with Rub n Buff

Step 4

After letting the Rub n Buff dry for about 1 minute, rub away any excess with a dry rag or a clean, gloved finger until it shines.

Easy DIY Brass Hinges

That’s it! So easy!

Eventually, we’d like to change out our door hinges entirely, but considering this was a spur of the moment decision, I’m really impressed with what a difference it made to upgrade these eyesores on our doors.

We swapped the outdated 80s door knobs on Olivia’s closet doors with this pretty antique brass double door knob set. They remind me of the talking knob from Alice in Wonderland.

Tip: Rub n Buff doesn’t work well on exterior doors or door hardware that is frequently touched like knobs, but you can use this tutorial to spray paint door knobs that I used on our old faucets.

I’ve used this method many times and it holds up beautifully! Make sure not to skip the sanding, priming, and spray lacquer steps for extra durability.

Door update using Rub n Buff to change door hinge color

We’ve slowly been addressing the decades of bad paint jobs underneath all of these interior doors’ paint layers upstairs that started to fail, and even though I absolutely despise paint stripping, there’s a good chance that’s in our future too. I’m really not looking forward to that project.

But correcting the peeling paint layers underneath from decades of previous owners not correctly prepping/priming, changing out mismatched door knobs, and touching up these door hinges has already made a world of difference!

Would you Rub n Buff your door hinges? I can’t believe I never did this before because it’s awesome!

DIY Door Update Ideas

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  1. Rub & Buff is an amazing product! Hope Robert’s knee surgery goes well and that he heals quickly.

  2. Brilliant!! I will be trying this out on my 72 year old house with many splotches of paint… some are mine ;-)… hope hubby heals quickly

  3. That is genius! I am definitely going to try it! I have doors that have brass hinges and newer silver door knobs. Thanks, Lauren!

  4. Great tip! I’ve never used rub and buff before, but after seeing so many bloggers rave about it, I recently bought some to try. I got antique gold but after seeing your examples, I’m thinking I would like the European gold better. Will probably try it out on a picture frame. When we built our house, I chose black hardware for the doors, and the beauty of that is I can touch up scratches with a sharpie! The painters did get white paint on some of the black hinges, which was super frustrating, and I used Krud Kutter and a nylon scouring pad, which wasn’t easy with the hinges still on, but I managed to get most of it off. Love little tricks like this! I have the same velvet Half Price Drapes you have in Eden Green and when I hung them, it bugged me that I could see a bit of the white lining at the end of the rod by the finial, so I got on a ladder and colored the small part showing with an olive green sharpie. It’s the little things!

  5. Thank you for reminding me about Rub and Buff. My house is 50 yr old and the metal on the door knobs is worn. I was thinking about spray painting them black, but I think this is a more classic color for knobs. Also, it looks more expensive. I love all of your work.