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Easy way to remove paint from hinges and hardware

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:12 pm
by siskusteve
I thought I would share this. Like everyone else who has worked on old houses. I have toiled over the removal of paint from old hardware. One day I was checking out different information on this website and ran across this Idea. I thought I would try it but I had no great expectations, because if it works, I am sure I would have heard of it before now. Well let me tell everyone, IT WORKS, I was totally surprised by the wonderful results. My brass cabinet hinges looked like brand new. Take your old hinges or other metal or glass hardware screws and all, put them in an old stainless steel or glass pan. Cover with a mixture of TSP about a tablespoon per cup of water, place on low heat. Do not boil or simmer, just get it really hot and keep it that way for 10 to 15 minutes, longer if needed. Caution : This process does produce fumes so do this in a well ventilated area. Also you should wear rubber gloves. Then let cool enough until you can handle the hardware. Rinse off with clean water. The paint should just fall off. If it doesn't, you need more of something, heat, TSP or time. The next time I wanted to do this, I was out of TSP so I tried Cascade dish washing detergent, It worked just as well or maybe better. I also placed it on the heating element of a coffee maker. That also worked very well. Now I do this in my shop and I use an old crock pot with a wire strainer. The liquid is reusable if it doesn't have too much old paint in it. I now use this method on hinges, door knobs, brass lock plates and all those screws I used to spend hours on. So if you are tired of spending lots of time with steel wool you need to try this.

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:42 am
by Jen
Sounds so much better than what I've been doing - chemical stripper, wire brush - I'm definitely going to try it when I'm back to woodwork/hardware work in the spring. . .

I tried the tip someone had given me previously (Don?) where you coat the cleaned iron hardware with cooking oil and "bake" in a slow oven - it works like a dream. The hardware looks just beautiful and there is no sign of rust. Did it with hinges and shutter hardware.

Thanks for the good advice!

Clean paint from Brass

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:18 pm
by handle123
Does this work on brass hinges, door knobs and locks?

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:23 pm
by Danno
FYI: TSP= TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE. I didn't know that. Maybe most people know it, but I've never heard of it, so I had to google it.

There was another method floating around not all that long ago. Seems like it included "Simple Green" or something like that.....

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:27 pm
by Danno

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:06 pm
by lrkrgrrl
I wouldn't try seasoning the brass, although it works on iron. You'll end up with a dark coating that won't look pretty on brass. To really get the oil baked onto the iron, you need to let it smoke, so either crank up your vented stove hood, wait until you can open the windows, or put the hardware on the grill outside. The last time I did my frying pan, I set off every smoke alarm in the house! dang.

The TSP thing works great, and if you live in a place where TSP is not available, then dishwasher powder is the next best source of phosphated cleaner.

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:19 pm
by crazyjo
I've actually used apple cider vinegar and a toothbrush. We let it soak overnight, scrapped off what we could with a putty knife and then used a toothbrush for the nooks and crannies. I was amazed...

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:00 pm
by southernman
I've always heard that a crock-pot works great for paint removal. Just add some Dawn dish washing liquid and water, cook overnight. Never tried it but it sounds easy enough.

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:11 pm
by BethWB
I use the Simple Green/ammonia combo with great success. I'm not willing to try it on old mineral knobs, though.

Anyone have an easy idea for removing paints from the knobs?

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:16 pm
by Sacto Diane
Works with baking soda as well. Pretty much any surfactant will work. TSP, soap, laundry soap, baking soda and others have all been mentioned in the past and will work. A tip to make life easier is to put your screws in a tea ball while you boil them. Makes it easier at the end so your not digging in the gunk to find them.