Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

July 27, 2011

Impromptu Doorknob Installation

The "After"

Last week, when I blogged about how to make a pair of simple (but pretty) earrings I pined for some home-related DIY.  So I guess I caused this:

My mom to left run an errand and, as she departed, she called out to me to come lock the door behind her.  Before I could reach it, she knocked on the door.  I giggled, because she and I both knew it was unlocked.  But when I opened the closed door I saw her standing there, holding the doorknob.  My dad had refused the change the weathered doorknobs, even though my mom repainted the door, because they were "still good".  Not anymore.

Yesterday we headed to a local lock shop and picked out a nice sturdy new knob - nothing fancy.  If anyone needs a step-by-step guide for installing a new knob read on for instructions, courtesy of my handy Hubby (he's my guest-blogger today!) . . . and scroll down for photos of the new knobs and a glimpse at the outside on my parents' home.

How to replace a doorknob (by Hubby)

First things first, remove the old knob.  Use the proper screwdriver (probably a Phillips, or "star" head) and remove the two screws from the inner knob.

Pull off the inner knob and you should see something like the photo below.  Note: the outer knob may fall off at this point.  That's fine, just don't let it fall on your tile floor. (Bang. Crap.)

Pull off the outer knob and you are left with the inner hardware.

Remove the two screws from the escutcheon plate around the latch . . .

and pull out the latch mechanism.

Here are the components that came in the box with the new doorknob.  Not all parts are used for all installations.  The manufacturer includes parts for different needs (eg. different shaped strike plates).

Most door latches are adjustable.  Before purchasing new hardware, measure the distance between the edge of the door and the centre of the knob and confirm that the new hardware will fit.  In our case, it was 2-3/4", which is a standard dimension.

Put the escutcheon plate on the new latch.  For our installation there is a plate that is slid on from the left (see image below) and one from the right.

Slide the new latch into the door in the reverse of the removal and put the new screws into the escutcheon.  Ensure the latch is installed so the door can shut, but don't shut it yet.  Slide the outer knob into the outer side of the door, through the latch mechanism.  The outer knob is the one with the screws in it.  This puts the screw heads on the inner side of the door.  This is for aesthetics on non-locking knobs, and security on locking knobs.

Slide the inner knob onto the mechanism of the outer knob and push the screw heads through the inner knob.  This is usually achieved by sliding the knob onto the center pin and then twisting the knob slightly so the screw heads can slide into the proper slots (sorry, I didn't take a photo of this).  On some knobs you will have to remove the screws completely from the outer knob before installation, but everthing else works the same.

All you have to do now is tighten up the screws and check for proper operation of the mechanism.  Make sure it all works before you shut the door for the first time.  This can save a bit of hassle.

Thanks, Hubby!  Now for some pretty after photos:

All finished.

Although the doorknobs to the two backdoors were replaced with plain silver knobs, we tried to find a fancier one for the front, one that matches the vintage 1950s knobs inside the house (because the front door opens onto the living room).

Original knobs, installed by my great-grandpa (he built the house.)

New front door knob.

P.S. Hubby did not replace the strike plates on the door frame because they are still in good condition, but the knob comes with new plates and screws if needed.

How pretty is this cinnamon coloured door with the pale grey exterior?


  1. I didn't know it until this post, but I heart door knobs!

  2. A new doorknob really freshens up a door - especially if it has a fresh coat of paint too.

  3. I'm kinda flitting around your site and found this older post. Do you (or your mom since she's with you) know the name/brand of that beautiful colour she painted her door.

    I was already considering orange but this colour just may be perfect.



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