How Do I Choose the Best Antique Door Handles?

Norma Jean Howland

If you are restoring an old house and considering using antique door handles, there are quite a few styles to choose from. These door handles can be rustic, delicate, Victorian style brass and porcelain, or aged bronze. When shopping for antique door handles, consider the door you are shopping for, how much use its handle gets, and whether the door is inside or outdoors. If the handle is meant for an outside entrance, you probably want it to have a locking system. To spend less, buy an “antique style” door handle, which may come in a similar style with a lower price tag.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Antique door handles come in a variety of designs and materials. Depending on the style of your front door, you could choose a door handle that is very ornate or one that has classic, simple lines. There are handles that feature an outstretched hand to welcome visitors and handles depicting a set of humming birds to open double doors. Some handles offer scenes from fairy tales, mermaids, or even hieroglyphics. If you prefer a more rustic look, you might want to look for a barn door slider handle for your front door.

Although antique door handles can accentuate and complement an older door, you will want to make sure the handle is easy to operate, especially if there are children in the home. If the handle is to be installed on an outside entrance, you may want to make sure that it can be locked and unlocked with ease. If it doesn’t come with a lock, then you can install one. A lever handle that must be pushed down to open the door should operate smoothly. Inspect the hardware to see if it will be able to withstand the wear and tear of daily life.

There are also a lot of “antique style” door handles available that are reproductions of their older counterparts. If your budget is tight, you may want to consider one of these replicas. A plus to buying this kind of door handle is that they usually are manufactured to fit modern doors and may be easier to install and operate. Like antique door handles, these modern day versions offer similar images, such as cobras, lions, or forged iron knockers that double as door handles.

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Discussion Comments


I found some antique brass door handles in an online shop, and I got a great deal on them. Sometimes home improvement stores only have a limited selection of these types of items, while online shops have styles that you can't find anywhere else.


Sometimes you can find really nice antique door handles that are actually antiques. These authentic door handles will give a door a lot of character, especially if you have an old-fashioned style home.

If you think you'd like to try actual antique door handles, you can find them in antique shops and garage sales.

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