One of the projects at the new house is painting the kitchen cabinets. As Kevin was taking all of the hinges and handles off the cabinets and drawers, he noticed that they'd been painted over many times and had some sort of glaze or shellac on them that was pretty funky. We're painting all of the cabinets a particular shade of creamy white, but the current hinges and handles in the state they were in would definitely not work. With all of their funk, we did not want to put those back on our newly painted cabinets and drawers!
With handles and hinges for 39 cabinets/drawers, replacing all of that hardware would be prohibitively expensive! I suggested that maybe we could paint them, but neither of us could figure out how to get what was already on them off so that the new coat of paint would adhere.
Ahhhh, the internet. You just have to love the fact that you can search for anything and come up with dozens of solutions in mere seconds! I found something interesting and thought we should give it a try. We were both a bit skeptical, so we thought we'd try a few hinges and handles first; then, if it worked, we'd do the rest of them. Well, believe it or not, it worked like a charm! Here's what you do: place hardware in bottom of crockpot; fill crockpot with water to cover hardware; add a few tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and turn the crockpot to low. Let them 'cook' overnight. (Be forewarned: what results is something resembling primordial goo.) Fish out the hardware and scrub gently with a wire brush. All traces of paint (and whatever other gunk was on there to begin with) can then be rinsed away. It was like magic! We then 'baked' all of the hardware to make sure it was dry. The next day I gave everything a good coat of black spray paint and, viola!, they all looked brand new!!