I’m Projecting Again! — Glass Doorknob Curtain Tie-Backs and How to Spray Paint Drawer Pulls

by Katy on August 20, 2012 · 24 comments

Ever since I saw these Urban Outfitters curtain tie-backs on Pinterest, I’ve wanted to try making my own.

See? So pretty!

I already had a set of thrifted glass doorknobs, and was lucky to find a pair of ornate round backplates at a vintage hardware shop in my neighborhood. (I wrote HERE about the first half of the project.) And yesterday, I finally completed the last steps and got them installed.

Don’t they look awesome?!



Fully dressed:

And since we’re on the subject of DIY projects, I wanted to share a little makeover project that took over my yesterday. I recently bought a sweet $30 antique dresser at Goodwill. I scrubbed down the exterior with some Murphy Oil Soap, (the exterior was weirdly sticky) but the dated drawer pulls needed to go. However, it was not in the budget to replace them.

See? Not so pretty:

Do you like my solution for how to position the knobs so they sit upright for the painting process? It’s a styrofoam meat tray from my to-be-recycled stash with poked holes for the knobs.

Me be clever.

And here’s after four light coats of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint:

And here we have the painted knobs in situ, all fresh and updated:

And here’s the dresser, all scrubbed down with the new drawer pulls in place:

Sorry there was no before picture of the dresser, but my camera was hiding at the time.

I do love me a project!

Update: I was bale to quickly sell this dresser for $100, which I used as my spending money for my Today Show/NYC trip!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne August 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

I love made over furniture. Are you selling it or using it in a bedroom?


Katy August 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

Right now it’s on Craigslist, but I would be perfectly happy to keep it.



stonalino August 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

I just love reading your blog and your projects. You fill me with enthusiasm!!! 🙂


Katy August 20, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thank you, that’s so sweet of you to say!



Peg August 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I LOVE those curtain tiebacks…gorgeous!


Shelley August 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Love the glass doorknob tie backs!!! I remember loving the glass door knobs in my grandparents house. I live in a 1920s house that has pretty nice door furniture as it is and I don’t want to get rid of those door knobs, but you have shown me how to incorporate knobs into our decor – and solve the curtain thing. I can think of at least 4 places to use this idea off the top of my head…will take a tour and look for more! Thanks so much!


Practical Parsimony August 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I love the glass door knob tiebacks! The styrofoam tray puzzled me so that I stopped reading to puzzle over what you did.


Danyel August 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Dresser is awesome. I have some knobs that decorate my garden right now, but maybe someday they’ll be tiebacks.


Lois August 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I love glass door knobs, I seriously want to find one to use on my bathroom door as it reminds me of growing up where my grandparents had them. I use something similar when spray painting knobs, I find old cardboard and poke holes to attach them, makes the whole job so much easier.


betsyohs August 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

These are very nice…actually, they’re way cool, especially the door knob curtain holders. But what about the Today Show??!? I don’t have a TV, so I couldn’t watch, but I’d love to hear a “race report” or see your clip if you have a link!


betsyohs August 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

Sorry – it didn’t occur to me to look at your Today Show post for any updates. I did now – can’t wait!


Jean August 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Great job on refinishing the hardware. There are times I have spent an embarrassing amount on hardware for something I truly love–the reproduction blue depression glass knobs in my kitchen are a perfect example, but I have never regretted those, as they make me smile every time I enter that room–and glass knobs for our refinished auction bedroom set. But most times when refinishing or painting old furniture of no great value, I paint it. Or if I dislike the style of it, I look for hardware at thrift stores or yard sales with the idea of painting it in mind.
Love the glass doorknobs as tiebacks too–great job!


Mary August 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm

So pretty! If you run out of things to do in your house, you’re always welcome down here!


Allison Jackson August 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Wow, I love those those glass door knobs. They look great. I might just have to steal that idea!!


AFS August 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm

$30 for that dresser AMAZING!!!


Katy August 21, 2012 at 3:45 am

It had an odd sticky film on it that probably made other potential buyers turn away. But a good scrub with Murphy Oil Soap did the trick. Also, it was cluttered with odd items that hid its true beauty.

Very excited to have some guilt-free spending money while in NYC!



harriet August 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

That dresser has had its legs cut off.


Diane C August 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hi Harriet,
I thought so too and I was hoping someone else would chime in. I’ll bet if Katy decides that the dresser needs new “legs”, she’ll find something fabulous. After all, she is a nurse. She’ll have her patient up and about in no time.


Katy August 22, 2012 at 4:09 am

Too late. I quickly sold the dresser on Craigslist for $130, which added up to a tidy $100 profit. Perfect for NYC spending money!



PJ August 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

I would like to know how painted hardware holds up. Have you ever used painted hardware for several years? I have kitchen cupboards with handles and strap hinges on them that I can’t find replacements for. I am wondering if spray paint would take a lot of use? Thank you for your help.


Francesca December 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

Very Creative! ! love projects that reinvent objects! Also like how the bronze paint has changed the look of those drawer pulls! Keep us posted on new projects!


Lori February 20, 2024 at 4:41 pm

what did you use on the glass knob curtain holders to cover/ take the place of the door knob spindle?


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