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How to Strip Paint Off Old Hardware

Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique demonstrates how to strip paint off of old door hardware.


1. Fill an old pot with water and bring it to a simmer. It doesn’t necessarily need to boil.
a. NOTE: Once you use this pot for stripping paint, do not use it for cooking food to prevent the risk of ingesting lead in the paint.
2. Add a generous amount of baking soda to the simmering water.
3. Drop the hardware into the pot and let it simmer for fifteen or so minutes.
4. Pull the hardware out of the pot and place it somewhere where the paint can be scraped off. Mauro finds an old painting tray works well for this application.
5. Peel and scrape the paint off. Most of it should be able to be removed by hand.
a. For harder areas, use a soft bristle brush to scrub it off. It’s important to be gentle during this stage to prevent scratching the hardware.
b. If it still isn’t coming off, it’s OK to put it back in the pot for another fifteen minutes to repeat the process.


Mauro used an old pot, simmering water, and some baking soda to strip the old hardware. These can be found at any grocery store or department store.

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Baking soda