+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Old doorknobs - how to refinish?

    My house is c. 1940 according to real estate records and someone at some point painted over the entire inside - outlets, light switches, hinges, knobs, hooks, etc. But most notably, the ornate doorknobs and door plates that are on each interior door.

    I've been stripping them manually and with stripper and the 6 coats of paint come off nicely. The underlying finish is a dark brown but is heavily tarnished (green tarnish) and worn off in places, especially on the door plates. I don't know what metal they are.

    What should I do with these now? Is there a good tarnish remover I should use on them? Is there any way to get back to the original finish? Or should I just give up and paint them with one thin layer of black paint

    Last edited by basil; 02-25-2009 at 10:21 AM. Reason: photo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Old doorknobs - how to refinish?

    For some reason I can't see the picture you posted. It sounds like you are describing brass or copper. First check the plate with a magnet to see if it is actually brass or steel with a brass or copper plate. If the magnet sticks to it it's plated steel if the magnet doesn't stick it most likely is brass. Once all the paint is removed try soaking it in lemon juice with a little salt added. that should remove the tarnish. You might even have to scrub it with a little 0000 steel wool. Then wash and rinse, don't touch with your bare hands because it will leave oil. Dry well and coat with clear lacquer. If it is plated steel and some of the plating is gone your only choice is having it re-plated or paint.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Old doorknobs - how to refinish?

    Thanks!

    They are magnetic, so that means that they are some sort of plated steel, right?

    I don't know why the photo isn't posting, here is a link to the picture: http://www.pbase.com/kimbly/image/109577363

    They are in variable condition, so I don't know if I'll have enough to put the worn looking ones on inside closet doors and use the rest where they are more noticeable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Old doorknobs - how to refinish?

    If they are magnetic then the are plated steel. You can clean and finish them as I suggested and maintain the old look, paint them, or replace them with reproductions from a place like http://www.vandykes.com/category/door-hardware. Personally I would clean and finish them.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •