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Removing Paint From Metal

Posted on January 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

Baby, it’s cold (and wet) outside! That means it’s time to pack away all the tools from summer’s outdoor jobs and start (or continue) working on those indoor projects.
A question we repeatedly hear from our customers is: How do I remove old paint from doorknobs [hinges, escutcheons, etc.]? Lucky for you, we have an easy, environmentally-friendly, and Hippo-Approved®™ method for restoring your old fixtures to their previous grandeur. So, light the fire, make a cup of hot cocoa (don’t forget the marshmallows), and get ready to make the inside of your home sparkle like it was meant to.

Removing Paint From Metal—Boil If Off!

We love this method because it’s gentle on the environment (no harsh chemicals), as well as your hands (and hoofed hippopotamus feet). This method works best on solid, metal parts (think escutcheons, rosettes, hinges, and switch plate covers, strike plates, to name a few).

Tools You’ll Need:
  • heat-resistant gloves
  • an old pot (not used for cooking)
  • baking soda (SCIENCE!)
  • tongs (or other grabbing utensil)
  • old towel
  • clean rags
  • old toothbrush
  • polishing cloth
Bring baking soda and water to a boil (use 1/4 cup baking soda per quart of water).
Carefully place the items in the boiling water. Watch for any signs of paint starting to bubble from the object (this process can take up to 15 minutes or more).
Remove the object from the boiling water using tongs and place the object on a towel.
Wearing heat-resistant gloves, carefully scrape, rub, and/or brush the paint from the metal, using rags and/or an old toothbrush.
Be careful not to use anything too abrasive, as you can damage the metal with anything other than soft, nylon bristles.
Repeat the boiling process, as necessary, to remove all the paint.
Use a polishing cloth when done, for that special, just-made-something-old-look-
new-again sparkle and shine!

Watch how the magic works in this video by This Old House:
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Happy Hippo Hardware Holidays!

Posted on December 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

With the holi-daze approaching faster than a stampeding bloat (aka: a herd of hippos), and a supply chain resembling Boskalis blocking the Suez Canal, there’s no better time to shop local! Here's our two cents on holiday gifts:

1. We have a super fun and ever-popular set of cast iron grizzly bear bottle openers, back paddling otters, awesome octopi, and various critter-related hooks. On the other hand, we also offer a great selection of antique hooks ranging from florid to formal to functional. 2 Our hand-selected variety of hooks are sure to meet any style of décor. Not only do they make great stocking stuffers (who wouldn’t love a tentacled new friend peeking out from their stocking?), but they’re practical too.
Hippo Hardware Tchotchkes and Trinkets

2. Up on the mezzanine level, we’ve just put out our “Good to Go” floor and table lamps. They’re wired and ready to go home TODAY! Bring functionality and style to those dark corners of your home, making it a more relaxing and welcoming place to settle, even after the sun sets.

3. Next to the ready-to-go lighting table, you’ll find our 3/4 sleeve boatneck t-shirts. From now until they’re sold out, they’re 20% off! We also have our classic crew necks at the regular price. We're working on getting our stock updated online asap but we do have in store availability!

4. This year, our motley crew of Hippo Wranglers have harnessed their crafty superpowers to bring you an assortment of handmade, decorative ornaments.

6. Want to give your loved one/friend/neighbor a gift from Hippo Hardware, but not sure exactly what to give? We’ve got you covered! Gift certificates are always available, never expire, and are always appreciated. Just see the cashier or purchase one online here. 

As always, thanks for shopping local and thanks for shopping at the big Hippo store! Holiday wishes to you and yours.

Hippo Hardware was featured in INC Magazine!

Posted on September 26, 2020 | 1 Comment

Hippo's own Steven Miller was interviewed in INC Magazine to celebrate small businesses across the country. We are honored and delighted to be included in such a great set of folks. Read the full INC Magazine article below:

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COVID-19 and Hippo Hardware

Posted on March 23, 2020 | 6 Comments

Please forgive our delay in reaching out. It’s been a very hectic time for everyone, including our staff and ownership. For the safety of our community, our last day open to the public was Thursday March 19th. We are unsure of the future at this point as it’s unknown how long this all will last. Our plan is to shift our business online as much as possible and continuing working safely from our store.

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Speak Easy Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Posted on March 29, 2019 | 1 Comment

Speakeasy meant just what it sounded like, Speak. Easy. As in, "Go easy on speaking about this totally illegal bar, there's a Prohibition on alcohol sales out there!" Between 1920 and 1933 proprietors of speakeasys usually placed a couple of hired goons behind a heavy, solid door but needed to be able to see who to let in. Enter the speakeasy. (With a password, of course.)

Prohibition ended 86 years ago but the tiny window lives on. This security feature is alive and well in many older homes. A house or piece of furniture are only as good as their hardware. The charm of this antique is met literally at the front door or wooden gate. It is the first impression and with a speakeasy you can bet there will be an inherent air of mystery.

To add to the clandestine nostalgia, there are plenty of styles. From portholes, Victorian designs, Art Deco, to twisted wrought iron grilles; there’s a style for just about anyone. Some feature a door knocker, glass for insulation or even double sided mirror. It’s a tiny window into a time gone by, the Emerald City or just your entryway. Hippo has many great speakeasys in our hardware department (hired goons not included).


DIY Bottle Opener with Bottle-Top Catcher!

Posted on November 18, 2018 | 1 Comment

Looking for a fun DIY project that you can custom design for your friends and fellow beer/soda/kombucha drinkers? One that won’t cost a fortune? One that is easy and you could make several in one hour? We’ve got the perfect project for you that is also perfect for your friends: a bottle opener with cap catcher!

Here’s the materials you will need (you can find them all at Hippo or you may even have some of them lying around your home.)

-a piece of board

-bottle opener (wall mounted)

-vintage tin can/small tin pail/mason jar/etc to catch the bottle tops in

-screws or nails

-screw driver/hammer

-any extra embellishments (ie: the lid to the tin can, letters, etc)

Step one:

Lay everything out on your piece of wood—make sure you’ve got the lengths right and are able to fit a bottle underneath the opener.

Step two:

Start screwing! Assemble everything—we suggest starting at the top and working your way down.

Look what you made!

For the friend who likes a pop of color: 

For the practical friend who enjoy ease of usage: 

For the rustic enthusiast: 

Step three:

Wrap that awesome gift up and be prepared for your friends and fellow beer drinkers to be delighted when they see their custom-made bottle openers!

PS: want to go for a modern look? Try these with mason jars! A little less personal but no less useful plus we have brackets to secure them! 

Hippo's Top 10 Easy Fixes for Your Home This Holiday Season

Posted on September 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fall is only a month away and that means the holidays can’t be too far off. And we all know holidays mean family and visitors that most likely will want to bunk at your place. But what if your home isn’t ready for visitors? Don’t fret, Hippo friends—we are here for you with our top 10 easy fixes to get your home ready for those holiday-time home crashers!

1) Make sure you have plenty of hooks! Though this one seems simple think of that huge coat pile that will undoubtedly end up on your bed if you don’t have enough hooks for coats, purses, hats, etc.

2) Check those door handles and make sure they are set correctly on the spindles lest they break at an inopportune moment. No Aunt Phyllis stuck in the bathroom this year!

3) Speaking of doors. It’s time to check on/replace those springs in your mortise locks. Heaven forbid it breaks and now your door won’t lock. Your guests and family will thank you.

4) Do you live in an old home with NO lock on your bathroom door? It might be a great time to add a simple slide bolt to keep those knock-while-entering visitors at bay.

6) You’ve got a gorgeous light fixture but it’s broken, and sure, you will get it rewired someday. . . but man that would suck if you wait too long and it burned the whole place down. There’s no time like the present to drop a little money and get that puppy UL certified! Safety first, friends.


7) Are your guest rooms dark and gloomy? Add a beautiful vintage lamp and give your guests some reading light so they aren’t keeping you up all night instead.

8) Guests and visitors mean time to stock up on bathroom accessories like towel bars and soap holders! God forbid your cousin and her kids pile all their wet towels on top of yours. Gross.

9) Make sure those hinge pins (especially on your bathroom doors!) are tapped down as you wouldn’t want your doors falling off. . . at the inopportune moment. And while you’re at it, replace your ugly boring hinges with beautiful vintage ones.

10) Who needs more mirrors? You do! So do your guests! As Mary Poppins says, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” She’s probably quoting someone else, but the point remains: a beautiful vintage mirror adds that practically perfect touch and every room needs at least one.

 Want to know the best thing about this list? You can find everything (and so much more) at Hippo Hardware! Plus our experts are here to give you advice whether you want it or not, helpful hints and tips and general emotional support as family-time draws near.

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