Removing Paint from Metal Door Knobs, Hinges and Cabinet Hardware

Oftentimes, when you move into an historic or older home you will find that the previous owners have painted over the original doorknobs, hinges and cabinet hardware. In fact, many times you may find layers upon layers of paint on this original hardware, depending how many times the cabinets or doors have been repainted over the years. It may also be that you painted over the cabinet hardware, doorknobs or hinges yourself, and now you want to return them to their metal finish instead. Many of these older doorknobs or pieces of cabinet hardware are at least vintage and sometimes antique and would look fabulous if you could return them back to their original metal finish.

Because doorknobs, hinges and cabinet hardware have curved, uneven surfaces it is nearly impossible to remove paint using traditional methods such as scraping or sanding. Not only that but scraping or sanding old hardware can cause damage to the original metal.

Another option for removing pain that many people consider is to use a paint stripper to dissolve the paint. However, paint stripper is extremely harsh and caustic and can be dangerous to use if you get it on your skin or breathe the fumes. Additionally, often times stripper will leave small bits or smears of paint behind on the surface of the metal that require additional cleaning.

rather than relying on a harsh chemicals or abrasive scraping to remove the paint, there is a gentle, nontoxic way of removing paint from metal hardware that is not only safe but is very easy and Inexpensive to do. Here is what you will need to get started:

An old cooking pot
Baking soda
Water

When choosing the cooking pot make sure it is a pot that you do not plan to cook in again since the paint can leave behind toxic residue that could contaminate food. First fill the pot about halfway with water (or at least deep enough to cover your largest metal item that you want to remove paint from.) Next, sprinkle a layer of baking soda in the bottom of the pot covering the bottom completely.

Place the metal hardware or doorknobs that you want to remove paint from into the pot making sure they are all covered with water. Put the pot on your stove and heat it over medium heat until it begins to simmer – not boil. Reduce the heat and allow the pot to continue simmering with the metal hardware and baking soda in it for about 30 minutes. The combination of the baking soda and the hot water will work to soften the paint so it is easily removed from the metal. Once the paint has been adequately softened you should be able to peel it easily off of the metal. If the paint still seems to be stuck to the metal continue boiling the pieces until it has been softened enough to peel easily.

Discard the water, baking soda and any paint to you have removed. You can then use a clean cloth to polish the metal back to its original shine. If necessary you can also use a metal polish to remove any tarnish or dirt that remains on the metal hardware.

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