Remove Paint from Hardware

No one should ever paint pre-finished hardware like hinges, drawer pulls, latches locks or handles, right? Right. But just in case someone who lived in your house or apartment before you did that, here's a quick and easy method for removing that paint. You can do it yourself and make a big difference in the appearance of your home.

 

You need a shallow enamel or glass pan - whatever size you have that will sit on a burner on your kitchen stove. You also need water, a pair of tongs, some paper towels or clean rags, and baking soda. Yes, baking soda. You will also need a spray can of clear lacquer to coat the pieces with after you have cleaned them. You may also want to have a plastic scouring pad, a utility knife or a dental pick on hand to clean off pesky bits.


Pour enough water in the pan to be sure the hardware will be completely covered - at least 1 inch (25 mm.) deep.
Set the pan on the stove. Add enough baking soda to cover the bottom of the pan at least 1/8 inch (3 mm.) deep. Don't stir - just let the baking soda rest on the bottom of the pan.


Turn the burner on and bring the water to a simmer - a very slow, light boil. While the water is heating, set up a drying area with multiple layers of the paper towels or clean rags.


Once the water is simmering, use the tongs to set the hardware pieces in the pan. Do as many as you like at a time, so long as they don't touch each other or the sides of the pan.

 

Leave them in for about 15 minutes. Each piece is ready when its paint layers have separated and lifted off. At that point, lift it out with the tongs and set it on the drying area. If necessary, clean any remaining bits of paint off the hardware with the tools listed above.


You can use the tongs to remove the old paint from the water if you need to do another batch. Dispose of it properly - it may contain lead. You can add additional pieces and continue to use the pan until the baking soda starts to turn dark, or there's too much paint left in the water, or there's a noticeable thinning of the baking soda layer - you can see the bottom of the pan.


Once the pieces are completely dry, you can hang them on wire and spray them with one or two light coats of lacquer. I would recommend waiting at least 24 hours - to make sure they are really dry - before spraying the first coat of lacquer, especially on articulated pieces - hinge leaves, window latches, sash pulleys or lock components, for example.

 

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The Home Repair Guide

 

 

 

 

 

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