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Reusing

Posted on Jul 26, 2008 by in A House is a Home | 1 comment

I’m really good as starting a home improvement project and getting about 80% complete. Last Fall, I painted my craft room, set up the furniture, and forgot all about finishing the doors. My excuse? I’m not fond of painting. Lately, I’ve been thinking about starting other home improvement projects. Then my conscience got to me. I really need to paint the doors and finish a few other projects before I start a new project. (sigh)

Last night, I started to prep the doors. The last person painted the hinges. Originally, I planned on painting right over the hinges. Then I started to think about it. I don’t want paint on my doors. I want nice pretty hinges. Yet it seemed wasteful to buy new hinges when nothing was wrong with these hinges. Then it struck me—just remove the paint. A quick search on the internet gave me a couple of options: paint remover or simmering water with baking soda. I chose to easy method: cooking the parts in water and baking soda.

I started with this:

© Rachel McPhail

The parts cooked for about 15-20 minutes in simmering water.

© Rachel McPhail

The paint just rubbed right off. I used my sewing awl to remove some paint in crevices and Q-tips to remove paint in the pin holes. The process amazed me. All the paint is gone without using any caustic chemicals.

© Rachel McPhail

If you try this process yourself, use a junky pan. You don’t want to cook your food in a pan that contains paint chemicals. All my cookware is fairly nice. I picked up my junky pan at a local thrift store for $2. Not a bad investment considering the result. In fact, I plan on removing the paint from all the hardware in the house. That should keep me busy for a while.

1 Comment

  1. Hey, what a fabulous trick! I often end up doing stuff around our apartment because my landlord is not the fastest guy r.e. responding to my complaints. I’d often rather just do it myself. But I ususally just deal with painted hinges. I’ll have to try that next time.