Friday, April 2, 2010

The Doors - Part 2 - Demystifying the knob

I've already talked about our upstairs hallway here.

But we still needed to do lots more. For one, the door plates were all crudded up with paint like this:
(partly my fault)

Secondly, most of the doors in the hallway had only one coat of paint, or no paint, or only one side painted.

So I decided it was time to demystify the doorknob situation. I've been avoiding them like the plague since we took on the house. Hubby was in charge of the locks and doorknobs on the outside doors. Now it was my turn to face the music...

As it turns out, the main thing is - magically - just to unscrew everything!

At this point it's important to remember to put all the tiny screws in a "safe place" (i.e. in a container away from the work area, and flailing arms)

After removing the all this hardware, I ended up with a semi-flat surface:

Did a quick once-over sand to get rid of some of the old paint crud:

And painted the doors - both sides this time - with one or two coats of paint:

In the meantime, I took all the doorplates and lined them up in an old metal tray on the stove:

Boiled some water, poured it over and let it soak for an hour or so while I was upstairs painting the doors:

Then I ran each plate under hot water while I scrubbed the paint off with a nylon bristle brush - sometimes I had to use my finger nail too:
(Disclaimer: I was lucky that the paint was only around the outside edge and therefore pretty easy to remove. But I can imagine there is hardware out there that have many layers of old paint in all the fine grooves and to remove that might take a little more effort - I researched online and some go as far as to let their hardware cook overnight in a slow cooker.)

After all was dry, I was left with a clean set of doorplates:
I'm sure there are ways to polish the pieces, but I liked the old patina, so didn't go any further with it.

Now I was left to put everything back - this is where I am thankful to have put all those little screws in one safe place (and I also realize that by pointing this out I am turning into a mini-me of my parents).

Clean lines! So much better!

So now I can sleep easier, knowing that 5.5 of our 7 doors upstairs are freshly painted, clean and matching, and with views like this:
It makes a big difference!

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