So I have been a bit quiet on my homefront due to many different projects going on all while traveling to and fro the past three months. I have had several ongoing projects (repainting entire first floor, redecorating den, updating kitchen, buying fabrics for various projects, etc.) and it’s just been a big decorating tizzy over here at Chez Moi.
But before I do any big reveals (and that’s because nothing is fully complete yet), I wanted to share with you one handy little tip I picked up while I was painting. For our home interior, I really wanted to use a zero toxin paint and loved Mythic Paint for my exterior so it was my go-to choice for my interior; plus it’s from Mississippi, my home state! This required special painters who are good at handling this paint and I’m so glad I chose to go with them because boy were they thorough!
Once my painters started to paint, they removed all of my original (read 1917) window hardware off my original (read 1917) windows. Some of these locks and latches may have been replaced over the years but the condition they were in would lead me to believe that they had never been removed before to allow for a proper paint job. So once the painters removed them, they asked if I wanted to replace them as they were looking a bit rough.
Well I went down to my local hardware store and asked for 19 replacement brass window locks and latches. Of course they didn’t stock that many (they only had five). At least I knew enough not to go ahead and buy five and just allow my painters to replace five (because it would have taken me a cool year to get around to replacing the rest). I bebopped back home and relayed the disappointing info to my painters and they shrugged and said they’d put the originals back on.
But my mind went elsewhere... Being the environmentally conscious person I am, I thought that perhaps I could salvage these bad boys. I mean they have some decent heft to them and they were brass so off to Google I went! And wouldn’t you know, there were many ways to save a painted brass anything.
I found many how-to’s but chose these step-by-step instructions from e-How since they looked the easiest and I had all of these materials on hand. This is what I did:
1. Combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda for each quart of water needed to cover the brass object in the pan. Bring the water to a boil. (FYI, this part smelled, so open up windows and any pot or tongs you use can never be used with food ever again!)
2. Place several layers of newspaper on a flat surface while you are waiting for the water to boil. You will be placing the brass object on the paper after boiling so be sure there are enough layers to keep water from soaking through to the surface. The surface should be at a height that will make completing the project comfortable.
3. Add the brass object to the boiling water and boil for 30 to 40 minutes. To make sure all areas of the object are adequately exposed, use the tongs to turn the object over every 10 minutes.
4. Put on the gloves. Remove the brass with the tongs and place it on the newspaper. Let brass cool slightly before proceeding.
5. Wipe the paint off of the brass object with a clean cloth, with the gloves still on. Remove all traces of the paint and then buff dry. To polish, put ketchup on a clean cloth and rub it all over the object. Wipe off the residue with a clean damp cloth and buff dry. (This was a little tougher than just rub off the paint. I had to use toothpicks, steel wool and a q-tip or two in order to get it all off.)
Now don’t they look nice?!? I mean they aren’t perfect and to be honest I got a little tired of rubbing down those brass fixtures’ nooks and crannies but all-in-all I like the way they turned out. Oh and yes, I did change the color of the woodwork on the interior of my windows; how sleuthy of you to notice. But that, my friends, is for another post.