Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How to (easily) remove paint from hardware

I posted a picture on Instagram (@jmmccalley) recently of  my vintage hardware all cleaned up. Someone asked for a before and after, so I thought I'd share.  Also, I found a great product that removes paint from hardware (and furniture too) without a ton of mess and no yucky odor!

This hardware is going back on a vintage Thomasville dresser that has just been professionally painted(meaning it wasn't done by me...). We'll likely pick it up this weekend so I can show it to you soon.

Dresser Before

 For now, I've given up on painting furniture myself, since I usually want a glossy finish and the best results for that are done by spraying. I have neither the time nor space for those project right now, so most of my furniture has made a trip to Cam's cousin in Des Moines. He has a body shop there and is really an artist when it comes to painting cars, so I know my furniture is in good hands!

At the painter's, sanded and ready for a new look

Anyways, here's the simple steps I took to get the caked on paint off these pulls and knobs. I did some research about removing paint and there were all kinds of ideas out there, including soaking them in hot water in a crock pot!

Hardware before!

I found this product at Menards made by Zinsser. I've used their paint before and loved it, so thought it was worth a try. Also loved that it was odorless and didn't have some of the nasty chemicals other strippers have.

I used a cheap disposable brush to apply a thick layer to the hardware, then laid them on a piece of cardboard and let it do it's thing. I didn't get a picture of this part as my hands were kind of messy!

About a half hour later, I used some paper towel and wiped them to remove the paint and stripper.  Almost everything slid right off.  For some of the stubborn spots, I repeated the process and then used an old toothbrush and toothpicks to get the grooves cleaned out.  That was it!

The brass was tarnished and dark once the paint was off, so I applied some Brasso (it's a little smelly, but not terrible) and buffed with a sponge and rag until it shined! As good as new!

Piece on the right after Brasso treatment, on the left is the before.
Hope that helps anyone needing to do such a thing. If you find an older piece of furniture, don't look past it if the hardware's been painted.  While you could just replace it, but often vintage hardware is unique/good quality and worth a little bit of work to restore.  If you have an older house, there's likely door/window hardware that's just been painted over and could be easily restored too!

1 comment on "How to (easily) remove paint from hardware"
  1. So worth the effort! That hardware is stunning (as is that dresser)!
    PS. I grew up in Des Moines! Went to the U of I. Go Hawks!


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