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From outdated handles to vintage

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A white vintage multi-opening box with upcycled handles and flowers in the box.

I love rustic wooden trays, but I really don’t like seeing handles on them that look too new or that it’s obvious they came off dated furniture (which, in my case, they probably did!) In this tutorial, not only will you turn outdated handles into vintage hardware, but people will probably wonder where you found them!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m Lisa from The Old Tree Cottage. There’s nothing I love more than taking something dated, like old handles that cost pennies and turning them into a vintage find for next to nothing.


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1. Clean the handles & scuff sand

  1. I like to use tsp on old handles because who knows what’s on them.
  2. Rinse and dry the handles.
  3. Scuff sand the handles to give the paint and wood filler something to grab onto.
  4. Wipe all the dust off or give it a rinse and dry.

2. Wood filler, paint & dry with a heat gun

Wear work gloves when using the heat gun because the metal hardware will get hot!

  1. Rub a light coat of wood filler all over the handle and then let it dry.
  2. Paint a nice solid coat of paint all over. It won’t bubble in the next step if the paint is too thin.
  3. Speed dry the paint with the heat gun, holding it close enough to make the paint bubble.
  4. Allow the handles to cool down before moving on to the next step.

3. Sand the handles

  1. Lightly sand the handles in order to give them a worn look.
  2. If needed, you could apply a whitewash over the handles.
  3. Lastly, seal with a top coat. I didn’t need this step when using Fusion Mineral Paint.
Going from outdated handles to vintage was pretty easy, wasn’t it?
Outdated handles now look vintage

I’ll never pass on dated handles again because not only are they easy to do, they save money and match so well with rustic decor. If you’re looking for inspiration on what to use the handles with, check out more tutorials, or if you’re interested in making your own wooden handles, they are much easier than you might think!

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