How to Paint Hinges Without Removing Them

Protect areas adjacent to the hinges from paint overspray.
Protect areas adjacent to the hinges from paint overspray. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Painting hinges is a tricky process, fraught with potential application errors. Most amateur painters don't know that metal is ill-suited for paint adhesion. If you apply paint directly over under-prepared hinges, expect to see rampant flaking. Condition your hinges to accept their new finish by applying a base coat of acidic etching primer. If you would like to paint the hinges without removing them, you can -- as long as you meticulously protect the adjacent surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based degreasing cleanser
  • Coarse sponge
  • Rags
  • Masking paper
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
  • Galvanized metal self-etching spray primer
  • Oil-based spray enamel

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Clean each of the hinges with a water-based degreasing cleanser, using a coarse sponge. Rinse the hinges with wet rags. Wait one to two hours for the hinges to dry.

Protect areas adjacent to the hinges from paint overspray. Meticulously cover these areas with masking paper and professional painter's tape. Place a drop cloth on the floor beneath the hinges.

Coat each hinge with a galvanized metal self-etching spray primer. Maintain an 8-inch distance between the metal and the spray can nozzle at all times. Wait three hours for the hinges to dry. Open and close the door every hour during the drying time to prevent sticking.

Coat each hinge with oil-based spray enamel. Maintain an 8-inch distance between the metal and the spray can nozzle at all times. Wait three hours for the hinges to dry. Open and close the door every hour during the drying time to prevent sticking.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not paint unprimed hinges, or the finish will peel.
  • Do not use a plain oil, acrylic or latex primer on hinges, or the final finish will flake.
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