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Hardware Restoration

Hello! Welcome to this course!

In this mini-course, I show you how to restore antique window and door hardware like window locks, pulleys, handles, hinges, etc.  I will show you how to remove years of built up old paint and restore the original look using techniques like metal aging or other painting methods.

Restoring old hardware is the best. It’s easy. And not only will it save you lots of money, but it’s also gratifying because the original hardware is often quite beautiful and ornate. When you see it restored to its original beauty, you may ask, what the heck were they thinking when they painted over this stuff!?

What is Hardware?

“Hardware” are the original window locks, window pulleys, handles, door knobs, door hinges, knockers, door plates, etc. etc.  Most hardware manufactured before WWII was built with a high degree of craftsmanship.  More expensive houses at the time often had higher quality finishes, but even the most modest houses generally have beautiful hardware.  Also, the older the house, often the more ornate the hardware.  

Once you strip the years of paint away and return the hardware to its original state, it is truly beautiful.

Getting Started

This course outlines the three basic steps of restoring old hardware:

Removing the HardwareThe first step in restoring your hardware is to remove it from your windows, doors, etc.  To learn how to remove hardware, watch VIDEO ONE here.  Most of the time you’ll need only a flathead screwdriver and a small hammer to get the job done.

Cleaning the Hardware: The second step is clean the hardware.  And there are basically three ways to do it.  You can scrape and wire-wheel the old paint to remove it.  You can drop it in a slow cooker for a day.  Or you can sandblast it.  I cover all three methods below, but for most people it will be easiest to just slow cook the hardware.  It easily removes the paint.  But choose your own adventure!

Finishing the Hardware: After you strip the old paint off, I then show you different finishing options, then teach you how to apply those finishes.

Chapter List


Course Home / Intro Page
Cleaning Method One:Scraping
Cleaning Method Two:Using a Slow Cooker (*and how to remove hardware*)
Cleaning Method Three:Sandblasting
Choosing a Finish:Spray Paint, Clear Coat, or Metal Aging
How to: Apply the Finishes
Final Trick:For Paint and Clear Coat Finishes
Conclusion / Final Results
Old door knob plates ready to be made beautiful again!
Hardware pieces after they’ve been refinished.
A closeup of a restored lock on one of my windows.
A closeup of a restored lock on one of my windows.