Sometimes it seems like our home improvement projects consist primarily of undoing a previous owner’s project (four layers of linoleum flooring, plastic fake marble wall tiles, etc). This made me wonder how many of my own projects will some day land on a future owner’s “gotta redo that!” list. I guess it is unavoidable and I am trying not to let that strange thought deter me from renovating our home with vengeance!
The list of projects we want to tackle for our house is quite extensive and sometimes I wonder how I will ever be able to order and prioritize it. Less than six months of homeownership has taught, though, that a house has no trouble letting you know which project is next on the list! Such was the case with the door leading to our basement.
In the middle of trying to give some friends a “new home tour”, the door knob fell off our basement door and we were subsequently locked out of our basement (and all helpful tools) until my hero husband was able to finagle it open using some unconventional kitchen utensils. Since the knob had already fallen off, I figured it was time to revitalize the door’s hardware.
As with many older homes, all of our door knobs and plates have been messily painted over multiple times. My goals were to remove all the past generations of goop, start fresh with clean hardware, and spray paint them to match our newly installed curtain rods. I was nervous of the difficulty of this endeavour because paint seems to be rather…stubborn. I mean, it is meant to be put on and stay there for years and years. Yet I expected to be able to get it off? And then, of course, there was the potential cost of tools or products needed to accomplish this stripping.
Thankfully, I found these instructions and realized the secret weapon had been sitting in my kitchen all along…my crockpot! Besides that, the only ingredient needed was laundry soap (which I make myself for ridiculously cheap). So, I dumped all the hardware into the pot, covered them with water, added the soap, and turned it on “low” for a good, long overnight soak.
Magic, my friends, pure magic! The next morning, I pulled the hardware out of the hot water with tongs and laid them on a towel. Then I literally peeled the paint off in one sheet…it was like peeling off a sticker. One of the door knobs gave me a little trouble and I had to grab my putty knife to score the paint and get the peeling started. Other than that, the hardest part was holding the metal while it was still hot! (I could have let it cool on the towel to solve that problem? Oh, but that would have required patience.)
What lies ahead is probably some form of sanding and painting, but for today I am glad to add yet ANOTHER thing to the list of tasks my crockpot can accomplish for me while I sleep.
Have you ever used your crockpot in an unconventional way?
Check out the conclusion of this project in Part 2!