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Removing Paint From Metal

Posted on January 08, 2022 | 2 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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2 Responses

Hippo Hardware
Hippo Hardware

February 13, 2022

Hello, Midge!
We may be interested. Please send photos to and we’ll be happy take a look. Thank you!

Midge Howard
Midge Howard

February 13, 2022

Are you interested in buying an antique lamp we brought back from Belgium

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