Some of the few original details our Victorian still has are the doors and door hardware. But the door knob plates (I’m sure there’s some proper term for them) in the mud room/hallway/weird spot looked pretty bad. The doors had been painted several times and the painters didn’t bother trying to keep it off the plates.
When you’re renovating an old house, it’s super handy to have a dad who is a decorative painter and furniture restorer. I texted him and asked how to get paint off of antique hardware. I had tried the cook-it-in-a-crockpot method on other hardware, and that did not work. At all. Dad said soak it in vinegar overnight. (Actually he said to test it first, because there are times when you shouldn’t–mine tested fine.)
After they soaked, the paint flaked right off. It seemed to be spray paint too, which makes it even more impressive.
I was pretty excited about restoring them down to the original brass, even if it did look worn (I love that look). But unfortunately, once the paint was off, it wasn’t so pretty.
I texted Dad that picture and he said “Eww. Looks like all or most of the brass is gone, it’s down to the copperplate. Replate or replace.”
They all 4 looked the same. Replating, or even replacing isn’t in the budget right now, so since those were the only decent options, I didn’t feel bad spray painting them. I actually liked the black look anyway–not as much as I would have liked the original brass–but the black looks good with the white porcelain knobs.
For some context of the area this is, the picture was taken from the kitchen. The pantry is the door on the left and the powder room is on the right.
Next for this room is painting the walls. Once I do that, I’ll share some tips (thanks again to Dad) on how to properly paint over a semi-gloss finish.
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