How To Remove Paint From Door Hardware

How to Measure a Door for Replacement

Well, before starting the painting process, experienced painters know that the door hardware should be covered or removed because the sloppy paintwork would ruin the door’s appearance. But we are all human, and we all make mistakes sometimes.

So, if you were unlucky enough to forget to cover them, or you just thought it wouldn’t be a problem, don’t worry, it is still possible to get rid of the problem. We will guide you on how to remove paint from door hardware. And fortunately, you don’t need hazardous chemicals, pricey equipment, or uncomfortable clothing to restore the shine to any knob, escutcheon plate, or hinge. 

Removing Paint From Door Hardware Using Paint Stripper

Using a paint stripper is one of the easiest solutions available. Because since they even work wonders on larger items, they also perfectly function on smaller ones like door hardware. But before starting the process, note that you should definitely put on gloves and maybe safety glasses too. Because they may look harmless but trust me, paint strippers can harm you. 

This is also why you should carefully read and follow the instructions on the label of your paint stripper. While some basic rules apply to all, some particular brands’ products might require a different treatment. Plus, it is advised that you do this paint removal task outdoors rather than indoors. Just like it was when painting the doors, air circulation is also important in this DIY project too.

Then, following the directions on the bottle, you can work on one piece of hardware at a time. After spraying it down, don’t forget to let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Afterward, assuming that you have already adorned your safety equipment, remove the paint with a couple of paper towels. Though, the initial round may not completely clean the knob. If this is the case for you, you can go through the procedure once more, giving the knob another 15 minutes in the paint remover.

What If Paint Removing Process Harms The Metal’s Luster?

How To Remove Paint From Door Hardware, The,Process,Of,Cleaning,An,Old,Wooden,Door,From,Paint

Well, after completing the second round, you might find that the stripper not only completely removed the knob’s paint but also started removing the finish. But don’t worry, there is also a way to turn this around, and it’s not hard as you might think. Simple steps can restore metal’s luster. 

And the only thing you will need is a protracted, steamy, sudsy crockpot soak. After stripping, solid brass or heavily plated hardware can have its luster restored with beeswax furniture polish or a nonabrasive polish like Flitz or Maas. And do yourself a favor the next time the door requires painting by removing the handle before the painter arrives.

Removing Paint From Door Hardware Using Heat

If you don’t find the paint stripper method convenient, there is another method you can try. For this method, you will need a lidless pot of water on the stove. After heating the water, don’t forget to open a neighboring window to keep paint fumes from entering your kitchen. Now, you are ready to lower a painted handle into the saucepan. 

However, note that this procedure can take from an hour to an entire night, depending on how thick the paint is. Plus, I would advise using an old crock pot rather than the stove if you need to heat it up overnight and are trying to remove a lot of paint. This is mainly for safety, as you might guess. 

Also, please note that you should use a pan or other cooking appliance you won’t use again for food when preparing your hardware. Because even if you clean it perfectly, leftover chemicals might still result in lead poisoning. This method, even though very long, is among the best methods since it doesn’t damage the hardware. Though, it should be noted that it has the potential to create rust.

Now that we mentioned heat let’s talk about another heat-related paint removal method; using a heat gun! Not only for paint, but a heat gun is also an excellent tool for removing stickers from doors or furniture. But before starting the process, note that you will need to prepare the space underneath to prevent burning anything. It should be sufficient to place a metal sheet on top of the tile, concrete, or leftover plywood.

The heat gun should be turned on and allowed to warm up. Then, the hinges should be placed on sheet metal or a safe work surface. Remember, heat should be focused on the hinge. And just like that, the paint should begin to soften, liquefy, or bubble up after about a minute. As you remove the paint with the putty knife, hold the hinge in place with the pliers. 

To completely remove the paint, you might need to heat the hinge again while scraping. Next, scrape paint out of tiny groves and cracks using the brush, following the removal of the majority of the paint. Shine the hinge with fine-grit sandpaper. Steel wool buffing is the final step. Well, as you can see, this is one of the fastest and easiest methods. Although it might be more dangerous than it sounds, it is advised to carry out the process with utmost caution.


To sum up, getting rid of that unwanted, ugly look on your doors is not as hard as you might think. Following simple steps, you can restore your doors’ hardware with just a few products. Though, most of these steps might be time-consuming and exhausting. As we mentioned above, there are many things to be careful about since you will be dealing with a strong chemical like paint.

So, whether you are among the unlucky ones who ruined their door hardware or just here reading this article because of curiosity, please remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry! Remember to remove or cover the hardware if you ever want to paint your doors. And if you will be removing paint from hardware, please make sure to read the instructions carefully and avoid rushing any part of the process.


  • Bayram Sarıkaya

    Hello, my name is Bayram and I’m 26 years old. You may know me from my writings here on Hardware Culture. I'm trying to convey what I've learned over more than four years of blog-searching and forum journeys. I'm a technical employee at a radio station, the almost polar opposite of the natural habitat where I think I belong. I love my job as I used to toy with technological gadgets when I was a kid, too. My hobbies are writing papers on cinema, playing basketball, and playing guitar. Now, let's get back to the plants, the topic of this biography. Why I share my opinions and reviews here is to share the knowledge with others who might be up and coming and having trouble finding the fundamental info on the net. I see myself in those and feel a kind of fraternity. Let's walk this road together for we’ll enjoy the experience of each other.

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