Learn how to remove paint from old hardware using ONLY soap and water! A simple DIY tutorial to help bring your hardware back to life. Affiliate links included – full disclosure here.
Our 1902 Victorian house had a whole lot of wallpaper. It had a whole lot of ugly carpeting. BUT it didn’t have a whole ton of original (pretty) hardware.
When we started tackling our hallway, I had a feeling like we would be able to uncover some beautiful original hardware that we had been lacking in the rest of the house.
How to remove paint from old hardware:
I am so thrilled with how it turned out – and the best part of it all – we removed all of the paint with ONLY soap & water!
With two little kids around, we try to limit our use of chemical cleaners. We had stripped our hardware this way before, but never found something quite as pretty as above!
For this project, you’ll need:
- old painted hardware
- a pot that you don’t want to use again (I just bought one for a few dollars from the thrift store)
- You could also use an old crock pot for this! However, they’re just more expensive to find secondhand and you will NOT be able to use it for food once you’ve used it to remove old paint from hardware.
- dish soap (I’ve tried this with any dish soap we’ve had on hand – I don’t think it matters what kind – they’ve all worked the same!)
- gloves (use throughout the project)
- polish (personally recommended by my expert grandma)
*CAUTION: always be careful when handling hardware with old paint on them – there is a very good chance that it has lead based paint.
Dump all of your hardware in your old pot, fill with water so there’s an inch of water above the hardware, and add your dish soap.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few hours.
Your house may smell slightly of rust stew, which isn’t a nice smell, but it’s worth it!
After a few hours, take out the hardware and put it onto a paper towel. Remove the paint carefully using tongs, tweezers, or just rubbing with a paper towel. I actually filmed this part in my how-to video – it’s so fun to watch the old painted hardware come back to life! (it’s also gone viral on Facebook – come share it here!)
If you have a stubborn smaller spot, you can use an old toothbrush to scrub at it too.
Once you get the paint removed, your hardware’s original metal will be ready to clean. I ran these under water and scrubbed lightly, and then let them dry on some paper towels.
Now you’re ready to polish the hardware to truly take it to the next level and restore it to it’s original beauty…my grandma swears by this cleaner. I actually called her to ask what cleaner she’s loved for years, because she is always polishing her silver and copper pieces!
Re-attach your hardware and be proud of the fact that you’re bringing a little bit of history back to your home.
It’s somewhat therapeutic to do this!