Thursday, February 24, 2011

Come clean!

How do you get old knobs, pulls, handles, hinges (that are goopy, funky, gross, sticky, yucky from years of use, abuse, old paint, whatever could possibly be gunked in all the groves) clean? Or do you just replace them? That could get costly, and mess with the integrity of the piece... Do you paint over them? Leave them alone? What? Share with us!

Years ago, I came across an old gentleman at a Flea who sold hardware (huge amounts!).  Almost every piece was gross (all the words mentioned above).  His advice was to throw them in a pot of boiling sudsy water! Yes, you read correctly! He guaranteed all the funk, especially paint, would just come right off, and they would be just like new.  Hmmmm, well being respectful, yet skeptical, I bought a few pieces, all along thinking yeah right!  I never tried it, forgot about it or whatever, until the knobs on a piece I was redoing were perfect for it, but were gross.  So for whatever reason, I suddenly after like 8 years, remembered this gentleman/his advice (I know I'm weird, quirky - get used to it).

I remove the knobs, take them upstairs and yesireeee, I BOIL those babies!  What did I have to loose? Ok, ok the knobs that were perfect for the piece... but you know, sometimes ya just gotta GO FOR IT!  And you know what else?  I remembered to take pics to document whether it actually worked or not.  Usually I am so bad about that.  I was doing this stuff a looong time ago and hardly ever took a pic before or after, and certainly not step by step.  I was just getting the job done for a client or for the store. Never thought about blogging, or having a 'portfolio'.  (you are saying 'stupid head', I know, I know!)  Boy could I do a ton of posts if only I had a record of all those thing!!! (again, 'stupid head)

Take a look at what happened with the "BOILING" of the hardware:
BEFORE see the buildup? it isn't horrible, but not nice either...

almost to a boil..., maybe I didn't put enough dishsoap in...??

after I boiled them for about 1-2 minutes, the funk looked like w wax buildup, oh goodness!
what have I done?

so I grab my handy Bar Keepers Friend - this is what All-Clad recommends for cleaning their pots & pans, so I'm thinking it's gotta be ok for these knobs...
dab a bit on rub it in with my fingers
take my trusty scrub brush and hit 'em a few licks
PROGRESS! see the buildup of gunk coming off on the right side?!

WOW! really nice!
TA DA! they look brand spankin' new!
well, whaddaya know! I am not 'skeered' to boil hardware anymore!

Hope this will help you along the way in your DIY's!  Please share your tips and link back tot his post and we will have a handy little "helpful tips" list started...

Near the end of the page, you can find all the places I par-tay!  Be sure to take a look at these awesome sites!  Thank you for visiting and please come often!  It pickles me tink!


Sam @ The Junk House said...


I wanted to let you know that I have awarded you the “Versatile Blogger” Award as well as the “Stylish Blogger” Award. You can find both, as well as the instructions at my page:

I love your blog!


Alaina said...

I love your blog!!! We are playing a game and I have awarded 15 of my favorite blogs (you're one, obviously) a "Versitile Blogger" award! Come by to play! :)

Good save on the knobs!!!

Sew-Over-It said...

Very helpful post! I never knew just how to get those old knobs beautiful again. Love this post!
Thanks for stopping by my blog, yours is awesome... super cute blog name too! :)
Heather ~

Mrs. DeVore said...

Great idea! I have had the same problems with old hardware. I will definitely
be trying this!

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