We're doing a massive renovation on our c. 1895 home.
While working on the sash weight pulleys today, I tried using a chemical stripper to take off the paint. NEVER AGAIN. The mineral spirits ate through 2 pairs of chemical resistant gloves and as soon as the pulleys were out of the mineral spirits, they immediately rusted. I've buffed them out with steel wool and a wire brush, then waxed them before putting them back in the frames.
We've got a lot of door hardware that's brass (or possibly brass plate), but some of it is steel. I'm hesitant to try to hot water method of paint removal because of concerns about rust. Also, some of the locksets are heavy square boxes with ornate faceplates that have been painted. I don't want to damage the lock mechanism. What do I use?