Bob Ingrassia

Entries tagged as ‘hardware’

My War Against Painted Door and Window Hardware

December 16, 2013 · 4 Comments

house exteriorI’m in the middle of an epic war against painted hardware.

The battlefield is the Victorian house my family recently bought in St. Paul. The bedrooms, nice and bright in times of peace, have been overrun with paint. Hinges, door knobs, latches and window pulls have succumbed to the onslaught of latex.

My battle is ongoing, but I’m pleased to report that I’m advancing nicely against the enemy.

Secret weapon: baking soda. I’ve been attacking the paint by simmering the parts in a pot of baking-soda laced water. My defense against counterattack from any latex fumes is a U.S. Army-issue gas mask. For a detailed battle plan, see my previous post about boiling metal parts.

After the painted parts get out of the pot, I go after the invasive paint with my fingers, a soft wire brush and steel wool. I finish off any dead-enders with a bit of Brasso.

Check out these photos from the front lines:

The Enemy: Painted Hardware

door mortise

door handle

window pull painted

Who paints hinges?

Secret Weapon: Baking Soda

door plates

Winning the Battle

door plates

hardware clean

window pulls after

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

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Sauté Old Hinges to Remove Paint

November 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

Painted hinges in an old house scream “Low rent!”

The house in St. Paul that Lida and I just bought has a bunch of painted hinges in the bedrooms. So I Googled around and discovered a solvent-free method of cleaning up the hardware.

Here it is: First remove the hinges. Then find an old pan you never plan to use for food again. Pour some baking soda on the bottom of the pan, lay in the hinges (or other painted hardware), add enough water to cover everything and heat to a low boil.

Simmer for about 30 minutes, pull out each piece one at a time and peel away the rubbery paint with your fingers.

For hard to reach spots, use a toothbrush or soft metal brush.

It’s actually quite satisfying work … undoing the extremely poor decisions painters made over the decades. Who care if I was inhaling a little lead-infused steam. Worth it!

hinge before

Who paints hinges anyway?

hinge before 2

Removing the hardware

hinges before 3

Getting ready for a hinge boil

Sauteed hinges!

Sauteed hinges!

hinges after 2

Good as new

Clean hinges

Dead sexy hardware

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