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Cabinet Hardware - Clean It And Make It New

Nov 5, 2007
So, you're moving into that home you just bought and now you are noticing a lot of little things that need to be done to really clean it up. While the place is clean enough and seems to have been well cared for, there are a few areas that some things were overlooked. The cabinet hardware seems to have been left on for a few paint jobs and the metal pieces have a lot of residual paint on them. Either that or when they repainted the cabinets, they just painted the cabinet hardware right along with everything else. Before you think you have to get rid of all those cabinet hardware pieces and start over again, there is another option. You can remove the paint.

When you look at the doorknobs, pulls, and other cabinet hardware pieces you likely can immediately see why regular methods of paint stripping would be futile. There are too many small curves to be able to take a scraper along them to get the old paint off. Taking a bunch of sandpaper or other abrasive action can damage the metal cabinet hardware that's under all that paint, so you instead just need to take a breath, and have the patience to do this the right way.

Pull out a boiling pot that has seen better days and can retire from its life as a cooking utensil, add some water and baking soda and start cooking. You want to put enough water into the pot to cover the biggest of the pieces you are going to try and restore. You don't want to overdo the water, or you will just waste time waiting for it to get hot enough. Now add enough baking soda to make a whole layer along the bottom of the pot.

Next, you're going to place the metal pieces in the pot, turn the stove on, and wait for it to simmer. Once a few bubbles start you should turn it down to low and let it continue to simmer for at least a half hour.

You can tell if the paint removing concoction is done by seeing if the paint is starting to come off of the metal pieces. If you are not sure, you may want to use a wooden skewer or other similar instrument to push along one of the pieces to see if the paint has softened enough. The next test is to pull one piece out and see if you can rub the paint off. Remember, these are hot pieces of metal, so take precautions to not burn yourself.

If the paint does not rub off easily, pop it back in the pot to boil a little longer. Eventually that stubborn paint will give in, and let go. Get rid of your paint and water soup, and you're ready to finish restoring those pieces of cabinet hardware.

You can now rub the metal until it shines, using a polish if necessary.

Reinstall those pieces of cabinet hardware and enjoy your new digs.
About the Author
Jesse Akre, author, an downer of home decor websites offers insite on buying elegant cabinet hardware, sparkling metal knobs and posh pulls.
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