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water_cutter 02-17-2008 11:34 PM

How do I remove paint from Antique Door Hardware
Hi All,

The doors on the 2nd level of my house all use an old antique style of door handle hardware along with a beatiful plate (that looks cast in some form). There is even a lock mechanism that uses skeleton type key.

The finish is kind of like a darker antique brass.

They are very nice but the previous owner didn't take too much care while painting the doors (multiple layers of pain). The hardware has not been completely painted over, but has several layers of paint around the edges of the decor plates and some inside the mechanism.

I took one apart and for the most part, they are fine, but what is the best way to remove the paint??

Sand blasting (will this harm finish?), simple paint thinner/remover?

I heard somewhere that you could use baking soda with hot water and let it soak for a while and the paint just comes right off?

Also, does anyone know if these can be painted (black) or refinished?

Any help would be appreciated!!

Rehabber 02-18-2008 12:13 AM

Soak them in laquer thinner for a couple hours:thumbup:

hammer 02-18-2008 12:23 AM

Just use a heat gun and then paint should come off fairly easy without damaging your hardware. $30.00 at your local hw store.

chrisn 02-18-2008 05:22 AM

I have always just removed and soaked in a coffee can of liquid paint remover for a couple hours, washed off, shined up with brass cleaner, sprayed with clear lacquer, done!

AtlanticWBConst. 02-18-2008 08:54 AM

Saw a show, where the guy specialized in antique door repair/refinishing/reconstruction.

In his wood shop: He used a crock pot and boiled the hardware. He took a pair of tongues and removed the hardware from the crock pot, took a razor blade and easily scraped the paint off with ease. It came off (fell off) like soft rubber.

He said, that was his preferred method, as not only did it work great, but it saved the metal's petina(sp?) and finish from any damage or dulling, that chemicals might cause...

Arlo 02-18-2008 11:59 AM

Atlantic is right! I cleaned the hardware in two homes that way. I just boiled the hardware in pain water until the paint came off in a disgusting sludge. Buy a crummy used pot at Goodwill and go to it.

joewho 02-20-2008 02:25 PM

Sounds like the hardware is reproduction and not original patina'd.

It's hard to give an answer without knowing what material is used and what finish is on there. Repro hardware may just rust in water, or it may not. The upside is that repro hardware has an easy to do finish on it. You just need to know how it was done, in case the paint removal changes the finish.

More research needed to give a definitive answer.

One thing for sure, don't drop it in laquer thinner.:no:

tverhoef 02-24-2008 02:50 PM

I agree with joewho if you don't know the material your dealing with it really hard to answer your question as we all know some metal react differently to solvents.

I have used a orange hand cleaner called (goop) whipped it on a few finishes to see its reaction and it worked great but your handles arent mine and I would test what ever you do in a hard to see area on the hardware before diving into the whole job myself just remember MEK and Laquers are not the way to go.

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