Cleaning Cabinet Hardware

Cleaning Cabinet Hardware

As many of you who have been following me for a while know, I am a huge fan of furniture hardware. This love extends to the hardware on all of the original cabinets, doors, and windows of the Hagerstown House. And like all old houses, a lot of them are covered in paint.

This was especially true for the hardware on the built in cabinets in the kitchen. When I removed the hinges and latches on all of the doors, there was a time line of paint colors heaped on top of them. I wasn’t even sure what kind of metal they were made out of.

I did some research on the easiest way to remove all of this paint and found a way that almost seemed too good to be true. All that was required was immersing the hardware overnight in a crockpot filled with water, then the paint would just peel off. Hmmm…

So off to the thrift store I went to buy a used crockpot; you didn’t think I was going to use my good one, did you?! I found one for $5.99 that was the perfect size.

I also purchased some tongs and a scrub brush that would be used exclusively for this process. I figured if it worked well I would use these for future paint stripping jobs. That night I placed all the hardware into the pot, filled it with water, turned it on, and went to bed.

I let it continue to “cook” until late afternoon the next day to make sure it had plenty of time to work. Finally, it was time to see the results. After removing the first hinge, I let it cool a few seconds and then started picking at the paint. Most of it just peeled right off!

There were a few stubborn spots in some creases, but overall, removing all that paint was a breeze. After all the paint was removed, I gave the hardware a good wash with soap and water to remove any excess dirt and grime. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were all made of copper! I decided to leave the natural patina on them, since it works well in my kitchen.

Now I just have to finish painting the cabinets and I can reinstall all that beautiful, original hardware. I’ll write a post when I’m done so you can see the hinges and latches in all their glory!

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