Patio Door Handle Refresh

The interior handle on our patio door broke last week. We found an almost exact match to the old handle online, but when it arrived, the exterior handle was quite a bit different from the old one on our door.

However, the old one looked like this (photo above), so my husband put the new handle on the door and took the old one off. I put the broken handle straight in the trash, but after I saw how the new exterior handle fit the door, I saved the old one.

In addition to the handle leaving a hole that would need to be patched from torrential rains and freezing temps, it also sat a quarter of an inch off the door.

It was hard to get a picture of this, but the new handle had posts that didn't fit into the existing holes, so without drilling larger holes (which may not solve the problem) or cutting off the posts (which would solve the problem, but would be a pain), we'd have a gap and a hole. And even if we did get it sitting on the door properly, there's still a hole above the handle. Safety aside, the darn thing would probably freeze up during the first ice storm of the year, so it needs to be fixed.

So the easiest thing to do is just to put the old handle that covered all the holes and fit snug on the door back on. It was dirty and chipping paint, so I enlisted dear husband to clean the handle with some warm soapy water.

Then I tore off a little section of 200 grit sandpaper and roughed up the paint and smoothed out all of the chipping paint (and made sure no more would chip off). After I got the surface fairly smooth, I washed the paint dust off the handle and dried it with a paper towel.

I grabbed a cardboard box and went out on the patio with a can of white gloss spray paint. It was excellent spray paint weather today (70s and breezy), so I was able to spray a few light coats on the handle to get a good base coat of paint.

You could still see the areas where the paint had chipped off after spraying it, so I knew it would need more coats. I let it dry for 15 minutes or so before coming back to spray it more.

I propped the handle up on the side of the box so I could get the sides of the handles covered with paint. I let it dry and then came back out and flipped the handle over and sprayed it again so I was sure to get the other end of the handle. So after 3 or 4 trips outside and about an hour of dry time in between coats, the handle was looking good, but not done. I brought it in and sanded any bumps or drips or places where the paint cracks were still visible. I wetted down the spray paint to get a smoother sand, and then I took it back outside for one last coat.

Once the paint had a chance to dry, I brought it inside to finish drying. The handle looks nearly brand new, so I can't wait to put it back on the door. I'll give it a day or two to cure a bit (it was still a bit tacky) before we see if it solves our door handle problems.

After it dried, we put it back in it's old spot on the door. I'm really satisfied with how the handle has turned out so far. Of course, now I need to find a magic eraser to clean off the door jam because the handle is so white! But, it's such an easy little project if you have an exterior handle that needs a little bit of love.


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