Step 4: Chemical soak (if needed)

chemical cleaning hardware
Photo: Eric Piasecki
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While hot water is amazingly effective at removing paint from metal, it needs some time to work. But if time is something you're running short of, then a chemical stripper will hasten the process. Fast-acting methylene chloride will do the job in less than an hour; a less volatile, less toxic stripper needs several hours.

TIP: Whichever chemical you use, be sure to protect skin and eyes and always work outdoors.
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    Tools List

    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • flathead screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • Nylon brush
    • Crockpot & tongs

    Shopping List

    1. LIQUID DETERGENT
    for use in hot soak of hardware

    2. BEESWAX POLISH
    to polish the stripped hardware

    3. SOFT POLISHING CLOTH
    to apply polish to hardware

    4. METHYLENE CHLORIDE
    chemical stripper, if needed