Thursday, April 18, 2013

Restoring Character

This is one of those posts that really only applies to very few people, but I am going to ask you to do me a BIG favor and pin the heck out of it.  I googled and pinterested and searched high and low and really couldn't find much on restoring antique brass door hardware, so maybe this will help someone else.  You probably already have all of the things you will need on hand, with the exception of a Magic Eraser.

So on to the actual post...We have this great door in the living/dining room.  It is SO pretty, but like a lot of older features it needed a little love.  One big area that I hoped to restore was these really great doorplates and knobs (complete with skeleton key!) that had been painted over at some point.  Here is one...
 And here is the other...
It's such a little detail, but all those 'little' details are what really give a place some character, at least in my opinion.
Like I said - I really couldn't find much on how to get the paint off of the brass without damaging the metal itself, and then my sister off-handedly mentioned that she thought she had read somewhere that you can boil them.

I figured 'what the heck' - so into the pot they went.
I used an old pot, I would not recommend using your everyday cooking ware to do this, and one thing I did NOT anticipate was the SMELL.  Urgh.  It really stunk up the house.  Afterwards I learned from Old Town Home that adding a few drops of dish soap can help with the smell. 

After about 15 minutes of boiling, I used a pair of tongs to check on my knobs - and wouldn't you know? It worked!
I also learned that at some point in this little house's history these knobs were also red.  I used the tongs to hold the fixtures and just used an old rag to wipe off the paint.
A word of caution:these suckers will be hot, don't use your fingers!
 Once all of the paint was off I saw that they really needed to be shined up, so I turned to a trusty old Magic Eraser.  Seriously..those things really CAN do it all.

A few minutes later I had them back on the door in all their antique glory!

So there you go - how to restore antique doorknobs and plates in less than an hour - without spending a dime. 

Can you help me out and pin this if you happen to have a DIY board?  Thanks!


  1. pinned it!! great job sister!

    1. Thanks sis! For both pinning and for giving me the advice in the first place!

  2. Who would have thought!?

    1. Right?! I thought for sure I would need to use some sort of chemical stripper, which I just was not a fan of!

  3. How cool! That was super easy. You are a genius. :)


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