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Old 06-09-2019, 10:33 PM   #1
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restoring old door hinge


I'm removing the paint from the door hinges in my Victorian. I started by boiling the hinges and scraping the paint off with a plastic putty knife. However, under the paint there appears to be some kind of black lacquer or other coating which doesn't come off quite as easily (see picture).

First, what is this black coating? Second, what is my hinge made of--can anyone tell from the parts that are exposed in the picture (I was hoping I had brass)? Third, should I remove the black coating with fine steel wool or does anyone have any better suggestions?

Thank you for any help you might be able to provide.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:36 AM   #2
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Re: restoring old door hinge


They also used iron hinges with a coloured lacquered finishes.
https://www.houseofantiquehardware.c...an-door-hinges
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:33 AM   #3
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Re: restoring old door hinge


Back in the day there was a baked on enamel or porcelain finish. Tuff to restore nowadays. Possibly the Powder Coating process might replicate it.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:40 AM   #4
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Re: restoring old door hinge


I took over the paint job on a new house where the previous 'painter' had slopped paint all over the hinges so I removed them and soaked them in denatured alcohol [latex enamel] I was shocked when I found out it also removed the brass 'plating' - they must have been really cheap hinges.


Normally when I need to do something like that unless the paint removes easily, I'll just clean them up and spray on a coat of brass/bronze paint - or whatever color would look best.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:29 AM   #5
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Re: restoring old door hinge


If you're taking the trouble, you probably have to commit to stripping the finish to the metal, whatever it is. That means strongest stripper you can find that will do the job. I don't know why I'm beginning to see people boiling the paint off but it seems it will add more fume to the house than just using chemcials outdoors. If metal is gray, steel, if yellow, brass. Brass can be polished and recoated.
Image polisher fits on dremel but for whole house full of hinges I'd look for bigger tools.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:17 PM   #6
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Re: restoring old door hinge


Quote:
Originally Posted by carpdad View Post
If you're taking the trouble, you probably have to commit to stripping the finish to the metal, whatever it is. That means strongest stripper you can find that will do the job. I don't know why I'm beginning to see people boiling the paint off but it seems it will add more fume to the house than just using chemcials outdoors. If metal is gray, steel, if yellow, brass. Brass can be polished and recoated.
Image polisher fits on dremel but for whole house full of hinges I'd look for bigger tools.
Thank you for this helpful advice, and to everyone else.

I think people are boiling because that's what it says to do on youtube. But I am actually boiling outside using a hot plate to protect kids from fumes and lead.

To me it looks like I have steel. Did Victorians use steel? Or iron? What do you think? Can you make it out from the picture?
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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Re: restoring old door hinge


While I've never done so, I've heard of folks putting hinges and such in an old crock pot with vinegar water to remove the paint.


How old is the house/hinges?
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:36 PM   #8
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Re: restoring old door hinge


Picture is fuzzy but I'm betting steel. Puts it into 1940s or later. If brass would be 30s?
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:14 PM   #9
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Re: restoring old door hinge


The house was built in 1897. If the hinge is steel, does that mean the hinges were replaced at some point around the 40s or so?

Thank you for the vinegar suggestion--I will try it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: restoring old door hinge


Aircraft stripper?
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Old Yesterday, 10:01 PM   #11
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Re: restoring old door hinge


Vinegar may corrode or pit the metal.
I also used to think that 120 yrs ago, things were made by hand. But am corrected all the time by the things that were factory made. Only about 20 yrs later, they were making tanks. But your hinges may not be original anyway. I think the paint strippers would give you the best results. Then wash, protect the barrel, spray primer and paint. Oil base rustoleum. You may want to look for metal brush to clean the barrel insides.
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Old Yesterday, 10:05 PM   #12
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Re: restoring old door hinge


/www.supplyhouse.com/Schaefer-Brush-14442-1-4-Stainless-Steel-Tube-Brush-27-length?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiZaTlfri4gIVRB6GCh1Vdww7E AQYBSABEgLbxfD_BwE


metal tube brush. I was thinking of plastic tube brushes but decided look for it myself. If it has a handle, cut it off and chuck it to a drill.


Amazon has them too. Some are for cleaning carburators.

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Old Today, 09:28 AM   #13
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Re: restoring old door hinge


Thank you to everyone for the suggestions.
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