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  #1  
Old 01-27-2008, 12:28 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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How do I get old paint off brass hinges?

Mrs. Piper and I painting a room in our house. The hinges are brass, but have been painted over by the previous owners.

Any suggestions for how to get the old paint off, without damaging the brass?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2008, 12:32 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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I use a pint or two of dichloromethane based paint stripper, from the hardware store.
Pour the stuff into a quart jar, or other suitable container, put in the hinges, and let it soak overnight.
Once clear of paint, Brasso and steel wool will return the hinges to their original luster.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:42 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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"No, no, you don't understand! Old Paint and Brass Hinges are my horses!"

sorry, couldn't resist...
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:19 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
"No, no, you don't understand! Old Paint and Brass Hinges are my horses!"
Soaking them in dichloromethane should still work.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:26 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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You'd need a very big tank.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2008, 05:47 PM
Sprockets Sprockets is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
Mrs. Piper and I painting a room in our house. The hinges are brass, but have been painted over by the previous owners.

Any suggestions for how to get the old paint off, without damaging the brass?

Thanks.
If the paint is latex, you should be able to soften it by soaking in water overnight and then peel or scrape it off with a scrubbing pad. Be careful about using anything like steel wool if you don't want to burnish the metal.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2008, 05:56 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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Goof Off, from Valspar

OR

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Paint-from-Brass-Fixtures
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2008, 07:44 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Propane torch plus a well ventilated area.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2008, 08:02 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Use a heat gun. They are made for removing non latex paint from wood and metal. You scrap off the hot paint with a metal scraper normally, but a plastic scraper will work if you don't put it under the heat gun.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2008, 08:06 PM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is offline
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Do you need to keep the original hinges?

I ask this because I started cleaning all of the brass hinges in my house as I replaced doors. It was a pain in the butt and the hinges weren't really pretty under the paint.

Later on, I took one to Home Depot and found an exact match for it for a couple of dollars.

I have never tried to clean a hinge since. I simply replace them with new brass hinges.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2008, 12:29 AM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
"No, no, you don't understand! Old Paint and Brass Hinges are my horses!"

sorry, couldn't resist...
Once the paint has been removed, you'll have a horse of a different color.
__________________
Crows. Keeping our highways clear of roadkill for over 80 years
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2008, 08:22 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danceswithcats
Once the paint has been removed, you'll have a horse of a different color.
Hey, this is GQ, so let's get serious. No horsing around!
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2008, 08:29 AM
lieu lieu is offline
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If this is old paint, should avoidance of lead poisoning be a consideration in the removal? Would the paint have been applied pre 70s?

Last edited by lieu; 01-28-2008 at 08:31 AM..
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2008, 09:38 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprockets
If the paint is latex, you should be able to soften it by soaking in water overnight and then peel or scrape it off with a scrubbing pad. Be careful about using anything like steel wool if you don't want to burnish the metal.
Similar to this is soaking it overnight in near boiling water. A cheapo crock pot is just right for this. Add a drop or two of soap, and let them cook. You have to take the paint off very fast once you remove it from the water, because it'll harden back up quickly, but it's easy to do hinges one at a time.
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2008, 11:58 AM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu
If this is old paint, should avoidance of lead poisoning be a consideration in the removal? Would the paint have been applied pre 70s?
According to the EPA, target housing (that which is likely to contain lead based paint) is that built prior to 1978.

For more information: www.epa.gov/lead
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