How To: Strip Metal Hardware

There is one home project I love to do. The results are immediate, and the finished product puts my OCD heart at ease. Every hinge, every hinge in our house looked like this:

Hinges: Before

So what if every color the room has ever been is displayed on the door hinges?

UGH! The horror. Slowly, I’ve gone through every hinge in the house and stripped it. Not with dangerous chemicals, but with a few easy tools.

Tools NeededTools needed to strip metal hardware:

1. An old pan. Yes, I’ve heard of leaving hinges overnight in a crock pot. I don’t want to buy a used crockpot, and instead found a pan at Goodwill for probably $1.50. This works just as well and quicker than said crockpot.

2. Baking soda.

3. Tongs for pulling out your scalding metal hardware.

4. Brush for scrubbing off loose paint.

5. (Optional) Dental pick. Austin and I ran into these at a flea market and our eyes lit up. Pick out little teeny bits of paint with this. Did I mention I’m OCD?

6. Drain strainer. Grab all the paint that gets washed off before it goes down the drain.

7. Weiman Metal Polish. If we could be spokespeople for this product, we definitely would.

That’s all you need folks.

The steps are super easy. First, place all your hardware in the pot, add just enough water to cover, sprinkle in 1–2 Tablespoons of baking soda, and let the concoction simmer for about 20 minutes.

Stripping Hinges in Action

Don’t. Smell. The. Fumes.

Second, pull out each steaming hot hardware piece, run under cold water so you can handle it better, and scrub the paint off with a brush.

Hinge paint falling off.

The paint literally falls off. Do this with the rest of your hardware.

Third, dry off your hardware and polish as needed. Done. Enjoy your paintless hardware.

A few words of caution: If your hardware pieces are painted over with three or four coats of paint, be sure and score around the edges with a utility knife before you remove them. Test for lead paint as needed. And finally, if there are stubborn pieces of paint, simply repeat the process.

Now every hinge in our house looks like this and I can sleep easier at night…except this one set of hinges is chrome and all the rest in our house are brass. Curses!

Hinges After.

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