Replacing Old Door Knobs and Hinges – The Best Kept Secret

Replacing Old Door Knobs and Hinges

replacing old door knobs with new glass and antique brass door knob on old wooden white door

Oh the joys of living in an old home (she says sarcastically).

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in our old home but it does come with certain challenges. I could write a list for you but let’s concentrate on the interior doors, and the reason why we had to install new door knobs and hinges.

I love the idea of the old glass door knobs that we had on all the doors but ours had several issues. The first one is that most of the parts to all of the door knobs were missing. One of the bedroom doors didn’t have a latch, face plate or rose. There wasn’t even a strike plate, or a hole for the strike plate, on the door jamb. In other words…we couldn’t close the door tight.

This is a sponsored post by Nostalgic Warehouse. I did receive product but all opinions are my own.

vintage glass door knob hanging loosely on door

We could’ve tried to fix each door knob but finding parts that fit isn’t easy (we did look). Instead we went with new and modern glass door knobs for our two guest bedrooms and a closet, just like the ones we installed in our bathroom and on our basement door.

We worked with Nostalgic Warehouse when we replaced the bathroom door knobs and I loved everything about that experience. Our beautiful new door knobs were the perfect touch in our bathroom so our decision to go with them again was a no-brainer. To keep everything looking cohesive, we went with the Antique Brass Studio Short Plate Crystal Knobs again. We also changed out the old painted door hinges for new antique brass ball hinges, and even added antique brass doorstops.

Supplies and Tools

  • new door knobs and door hinges
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • hammer
  • chisel
  • toothpicks
  • wood glue
  • cardboard
  • small nippers
  • tape measure
  • jig
  • clamps
  • hole saw
  • utility knife

Installing the door hinges was our first order of business for this project. I had every intention of stripping the old hinges and rehanging them, thinking they were brass, but they turned out to be metal. Actually they were 2 different colored metals. Not the best look so we ended up getting new.

old door hinge and new door hinge

The first thing we did was remove the door, the old hinges and door knob. There was a ton of old paint covering all the hinges so getting them off wasn’t easy.

Once they were off though, I was able to clean up the area and prep it for the new hinges.

So what’s our best kept secret for installing door hinges?



We’re replacing hinges, which means there are existing screw holes. To quickly fill them in, so our new screws would hold, we used our old toothpick trick. Remember this one? Just rub a few toothpicks in wood glue and stick them in the old screw holes, filling the hole completely. Tap gently with a hammer.

toothpicks and wood glue in holes where door hinges are installed

Wipe any extra glue off and cut off the end of the toothpicks with your nippers. Your holes are ready for screws…no need to wait for them to dry. Love this trick!

cutting toothpicks in old screw holes

One other trick we tried was to use spacers. Getting old doors to hang straight, and close all the way, is tough when you’re hanging new hinges. We used cardboard as a spacer and placed it under the door jamb side of the hinge. It took a few tries, and a couple pieces of cardboard, but we were finally able to get them to open and close.

cardboard spacers for door hinges

One of the great things we discovered about our new ball tip hinges from Nostalgic Warehouse is that they can easily be taken apart. The ball tips can be removed (and replaced with a button tip) as well as the pin. It makes the job of hanging the door so much easier. The hubs was really impressed, and that doesn’t happen often.

antique brass ball door hinge parts

With the door hinges done, and the door hung, it was time to tackle the door knobs. We knew that we needed to drill a hole for the new door knob but first we had to fit the latch and faceplate.

The old knob didn’t even have a latch but the hole was there. I just had to chisel it out so the faceplate was flush. Once we were sure the latch would fit it was time to measure for the placement of the door knob.

chiseling an old wood door for a new door knob

Worried about drilling the hole in the right spot for the new door knob, the hubs quickly built a jig to use as a guide. A few minutes with the hole saw and we had a perfectly placed hole for our new door knob.

wood jig and clamps on old wooden door

new hole in wood door for new door knob

After the door knob was on, we finished up by installing the strike plate. One door jam in the guest bedroom didn’t even have a hole for a strike plate so we started from scratch. The other two doors just needed a bit of tweaking.

tracing a new strike plate on a door jamb

I have a little touching up to do with paint but the doors already look so much better. The best part is that they all close, and stay closed. We’ve never been able to do that.

new glass door knob on the bedroom door

wood door leading into bedroom with brass door knob and hinges

Replacing old door knobs and hinges isn’t difficult but it did take us a fair amount of time, and we only did 3 doors. Using our secret tricks definitely made the process easier. One more project ticked off the guest bedroom redo list.

pin this for later graphicreplacing old door knobs with antique brass and glass door knob on white wood door with large graphic


You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing CourtSavvy Southern StyleFrench Country Cottage

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    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 3:47 am

      Thanks so much Shelley! I love how the new knobs look but I’m really happy because they close. 😉 Hope you have a great week!

  1. Margaret
    Monday,April 9, 2018 / 10:48 am

    yes the glass knobs are the best choice. There is no concern over brushed silver or brushed gold etc. The glass fits any time frame.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 3:48 am

      I’m loving the new glass knobs Margaret! I would have liked to stick with the original ones but the new ones fit in nicely.

  2. Debbie H
    Monday,April 9, 2018 / 11:12 am

    I had not heard the tooth pick trick. Will have to remember that. Thanks for sharing. The doors look great,

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 3:51 am

      We’d probably still be working on it if it wasn’t for the toothpick trick. LOL Seriously best thing ever.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well with you. xx

  3. Pat
    Monday,April 9, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    Love the look of the new hinges and knobs. Thanks for those tips, we have old doors in our old house and I would love to install all glass knobs throughout the house.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 4:00 am

      Thanks so much Pat! We are just tackling a few doors at a time. There’s a couple left to do but I’m loving the change.

      Hope you have a great week!

  4. Marlene Stephenson
    Monday,April 9, 2018 / 2:44 pm

    Now they are back to their old beautiful self, looks wonderful and sparkling. I love your old doors and they certainly are pretty now.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 4:03 am

      Thanks Marlene! They do look so much better. I didn’t know how bad they were until we started to remove everything. I still feel bad that we couldn’t salvage the old hardware but I love the new.

  5. Brenda Lane
    Monday,April 9, 2018 / 4:38 pm


    Love the look! What an improvement. Reminds me of my growing up in a classic craftsman house in Vestal, NY!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 4:05 am

      My grandparents had similar knobs in one of their homes. I’m loving the look too. Thanks so much Brenda! Hope you have a great week!

  6. carol bittner
    Monday,April 9, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    Love the glass knobs. The house where my grandmother lived when I was a little girl had glass door knobs. I lived in an old farmhouse at the same time but our knobs were shiny black; also very pretty but not the classy look of grandmas glass knobs. Your new ones are wonderful because they are ‘vintage styling’ AND they are NEW. I know it’s nearly impossible to find parts for some of those antique items so I’m glad you went with ‘new’ (saves headaches down the road). Love your painted kitchen cabinets also!!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 4:09 am

      Thanks so much Carol! It is so nice that you can find brand new vintage style hardware. There’s nothing like real vintage hardware but most of ours were not salvageable. I do love the new ones! 🙂

      Hope you have a great week!

  7. Monday,April 9, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    Oh, those look really nice, Kristi! Makes me want to change all my door knobs!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 4:06 am

      Thanks so much MJ! We’re tackling a few doors at a time but so far, I’m loving the change.

      Hope you have a great week! xx

  8. Kim
    Tuesday,April 10, 2018 / 11:03 pm

    Glass knobs are classic. Love them.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,April 11, 2018 / 6:23 am

      Thanks Kim, I love them too. You can’t go wrong with classic. 🙂

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