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Cook Off Stuck on Paint from Your Hardware

I am constantly in the middle of one DIY project or another. Usually there are roadblocks, hitches and complications to every one that I do. So whenever an idea actually works relatively hitch free, I want to sing it from a mountain top.

I’ve been slowly trying to do some upgrades around my apartment, including revamping my kitchen a little. The paint job was still in good shape, I just wanted to add some shelf liners, a pull out trash bin, and switch out the hinges on my cabinets. The hinges that I had were coated with paint, and made the cabinets look old and cruddy.

Me and My Paint Coated Hinges

Have to admit, I initially went for the simple, store-bought solution on this one, but when I tried to buy matching hinges at the store, I realized that they just don’t make them anymore. To install new ones, I would have to re-drill holes and re-hang doors. I’ve done this before. Sometimes this teaches you how to do things better the next time. Sometimes this teaches you how never to do them again ever because it’s such a big pain in the butt. This case was the latter. It’s painstaking, to put it politely, to hang all the doors square again. Avoid this project whenever possible.

But I wanted my hinges to be like new, so I tried boiling them in water on the stove. Sounds crazy? Hot water is an invaluable soaking medium. Dissolves sticky stuff, breaks down bonds, and all that good stuff (or good de-stuff).

You can use this with any hardware, not just hinges. It worked incredibly well! Here is what you do:

1. Remove the culprit hinges

2. Boil them in a pot of water with a few drops of dish soap, and leave them soaking for about 10 minutes or until the paint is nice and soft.

3. Using a small wire brush, or an old, firm toothbrush, scrape off the softened paint.

4. Let your hinges dry and install them on your doors, practically as good as new.

This saved me a bunch of money. On the low end, the 24 hinges I had in my kitchen, at $4 a hinge, would have set me back $96 to replace.

I would make sure you do not attempt to boil off lead paint (in general, anything pre-1978). Don’t have any science on this, but lead paint isn’t something you want to mess with in general.

Try it and let me know how it goes!

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Rachael Ray