How to Remove Paint from Hardware

Restoring your furniture's hardware doesn't have to be a pain; just use our simple tips for removing paint. See how a slow cooker can get the job done.

If you're a seasoned DIYer, you likely own furniture that has undergone several paint jobs. Wood surfaces are easy to paint over again and again, but the hardware is a different story. Whether you accidentally got a drop of paint on a door hinge or purposely painted the entire handle but want a new color, we've got the tips you need to restore your hardware back to its original finish. Take a look below to learn how. 

blue and white cabinet kitchen with white subway tile backsplash

What You Need

  • Utility knife
  • Screwdriver 
  • Old slow cooker 
  • A few tablespoons liquid laundry detergent or dish soap 
  • Rubber tongs 
  • Toothbrush

Step 1: Score Hardware Edges

Trace hardware

Carefully trace around the painted-on hardware with the utility knife. This will help you remove the hardware without damaging the paint job.

Step 2: Remove Hardware

Unscrew hardware

Unscrew hardware. Be sure to mark where each piece came from to make reinstallation easier. 

Step 3: Heat in Slow Cooker

Remove hardware from slow-cooker

Heat hardware, water, and a few tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent in a slow cooker on medium heat. Let cook overnight.

The next day, remove hardware from the cooker with tongs. Make sure to use rubber-coated tongs to protect the hardware from scratches.

Caution: Do not use the slow cooker for food after use. We recommend using an inexpensive slow cooker from a thrift store for this project and other household cleaning tasks.

Step 4: Clean and Finish

Scrub away old paint

Scrub any remaining paint from the hardware with an old toothbrush. Loosen tough spots by dipping hardware back into warm water.  When satisfied with the results, wipe dry. Use polish to restore the hardware's shine, then reinstall hardware.

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