Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stripping Hardware...24 Little Hours



If you missed my earlier post on Stripping Hardware Without Harsh Chemicals, you can find it here

What a difference a day makes.  I thought I'd check on my stripping bath and take photos to show how the paint was softening up day by day, (that's why I have the "1 Day" sign) but they're looking pretty good already. 


See how the paint is all bubbled up?  Let's give them a test.



This is the knob that was on the back of the bathroom door.  



The majority of the paint slides tight off and my heart races!  I think I know what this knob is.



It's a Bennington knob or, probably more accurately, a Rockingham knob!  I've looked at them in antique salvage shops and I love them.  It's a porcelain knob with glazed finish "made to present a close imitation of the richest shell..." by the maker's own description.  Probably made in mid to late 1880s.



Isn't that amazing?  Can you imagine painting over it?  Was this like a harvest gold refrigerator at one time and someone decided painting it pink was a better idea?

Oh, I'd recommend wearing gloves.  I'm sure this is lead paint.  (Do as I say, not as I do.)



This is one I showed the other day.



All but the first coat just slides right off.



And, as I thought, it's white porcelain.  Not as handsome as the other one.  So someone used two old mismatched knobs and they just painted them -- hospital green -- to match.



One of the back plates.



Several layers come right off.  A few are left behind.  They're going back in to the bath.

Not a lot of work, right?

I wish stripping the door would be this easy.



65 comments:

  1. Oh, I just love seeing what is underneath! What fun to watch. They are beautiful - it is amazing that someone wanted to paint over them.

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  2. Fantastic! How is your electric stripper thingy working?

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  3. What a lovely knob. It's too bad we have lost interest in that sort of small touch in houses today. It will be lovely - and soon.

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  4. I am SO excited for you!!! Those knobs are gorgeous! I would be beside myself by now...

    I don't know if you remember when I gave my mantle sconces a bath...when all the paint and grime is off, it is the best feeling! Glad it's going easy. :)

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  5. thanks steveo.

    that doorknob is amazing.

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  6. That first knob is truly gorgeous.

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  7. No Freakin' Way!!!!
    How Cool!
    I want to go strip something!

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  8. I actually love that they don't match! More charm. Can you even believe those gems were under that paint? You're probably dead-on, though, that they were the equivalent to harvest gold fridges at some point. It's like when I look at the paint some DIYr's put on beautiful old furniture and I think "will they regret that at some point?" You just never know, and you need to be happy in the moment. Glad you are happy in THIS moment! :)

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  9. Beautiful knobs - I hope you've been humming "Ti-i-i-ime is on my side" for the last few days!

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  10. HOLY CRAP! When I have 2 seconds to myself I do beleive the front door will be undergoing this!

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  11. Such treasures - especially the first knob you showed! Hard to believe someone painted over them.

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  12. Wow I can't imagine painting them. I used to rent half of an old house before I bought my own. At different times, I lived in the upstairs apartment and the downstairs one. The door knobs in this place were amazing too. I had these same tortoiseshell knobs on several doors. Others had white porcelain ones and there were some crystal ones. I never appreciated them enough when I was living with them. My current house has either modern ones or old crystal ones. I miss the lovely china ones like you have.

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  13. Amazing. Look at that paint coming off that plate. Crazy.

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  14. Oh you lucky duck!!! The shell knob would make me hop with joy.

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  15. Wow, sort of like finding a $100 bill in an old pair of pants. SUCH a nice surprise. BAD STEVE! NO GLOVES!

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  16. Dayum....your new name to me is COLUMBO. Urban Columbo.

    Dated but heartfelt. (not saying YOU are dated,mind you my super handle sleuth, just my choice of name is dated...umhm)

    Lovin the tortoise shell-ish look,just Imagine... you could have lost all of that glaze had you used a stronger stripper. Scary.

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  17. I'm loving seeing YOU do it and not me! Seriously, so glad you have a wonderful treasure under all that paint. It's great seeing all the layers peeled away.

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  18. Woo hoo Steve, did you say what kind of stripping solution you are using?

    Adore that 1st knob!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  19. Oh my, that is amazing. That Rockingham knob is stunning.

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  20. What a remarkable find! That's why I love refurbishing old homes down to their original bones. Such treasures lie hidden just below the surface!

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  21. incredible - that brown knob is lovely.

    the photos look like some bad soup recipe...

    xo terri

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  22. No way! That is going to look so amazing in your dark room. I think this knob is saying that your house was meant to be yours.
    Camille

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  23. You may have just saved the door hardware from my 100 year old farmhouse. My husband has been threatening to throw it out. I've got to get it soaking before garbage day. Thanks for your post!

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  24. so cool. I had never seen a knob like that first one. lucky dog! donna

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  25. Two treasurers so far...I'm jealous. Replacing all the door knobs in my home has been on my to-do list for 20 years. There are so many things above doing that on this list, however, after your post, the task has moved up a few spots. I think that most people do not realize how a door knob can change a room. k

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  26. You have the patience of Job, but it appears worth it.

    No wonder you have no time to watch Bravo along side me.

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  27. Oh man, I can't wait to start stripping the hardware in my new (old) apartment! Thanks for the progress photos.

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  28. Congratulations on the Rockingham door knob. I'm guessing that each knob of that make was unique.

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  29. Oooh! I do love your alchemy! The mystery of what lies beneath is tantalising. What a great find!

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  30. I actually gasped when you showed the first knob! Aren't you lucky?! Are you going to put them back mismatched? I think I rather like that idea.

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  31. Love both the doorknobs, especially the one that looks like shell. I've seen them at antiques shows. I can't imagine painting over them. Some former neighbors of ours painted their wonderful, original, early 1920s brown tile around the fireplace a cobalt blue. My heart sank when I saw it. I guess everyone's taste is different, and not everyone appreciates old things. So nice that you are bringing these pieces back to their original state!
    Claudia

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  32. I don't believe the knobs were "mismatched" - it actually would have been common for the faux-tortoise knob to be on the bedroom or hall side and for the porcelain to be on the bathroom side. Also common is for the bathroom side knob (and also window sash locks and sash lifts) to have been chrome to match the sink and tub hardware.

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  33. Fantastic finds (finishes!) franki

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  34. You luck duck to have a Rockingham knob under all that paint!!! A friend of mine bought a bunch of them -- at great expense -- to use in her custom country kitchen reno. They were stunning. What a lovely gift.
    All the best...Victoria

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  35. Awesome! Who needs to buy new hardware, when you can find treasures like the ones you uncoverd.

    Cheers,
    john

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  36. Historic Home Hardware has 1 in stock
    Authentic Antique Bennington Rockingham Doorknob Pull
    Price: $95.00 - Free Shipping!!
    Item #: CC1009

    Excellent find under all that paint!!! Ours are just the old brown metal kind =(

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  37. Isn't that something! At least the shipping is free.

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  38. whoa! that was one fascinating post! My heart was racing for you! cannot wait for your next installment. very cool knobs...

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  39. SO glad you posted this...I have some door hardware that needs exactly that! AND...I'm certain that the knobs are porcelain...and made to look almost like wood. I've tried scraping them...this is an awesome idea! I've already checked and my local Walmart has the washing soda...:-)

    **Tami

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  40. just what we talked about.......you did strike gold!
    now i wish i had something to uncover
    debra

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  41. Swear to god only you could make stripping paint look chic.

    xo J.

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  42. Beautiful door knob, maybe that paint protected it all these years for you! LOL!!! I'll bet the back-plate will be just as beautiful!

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  43. Drives me crazy when people paint beautiful hardware or wood!

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  44. o god, Steve, what fun!!!! Are you going to use both mismatched knobs? I think they will look great just like that, with the white porcelain facing the bathroom, and the tortoise shell one towards the bedroom!! I love it love it love it!!!!
    congratulations!

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  45. Hola Isabel!
    I think that would be fun, right?

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  46. What a fun little search and discovery project you have going on over there. Why would anyone paint a door knob? I simply don't get it. A friend of mine told me they did this to avoid them from being stolen. Um, I think you have bigger problem than your door knobs being stolen if the thieves are inside your house...that can't be right. Heck, what do these people know. I live in CA where they say, oh you live in an older home. 1970...seriously?

    Annnyway...I think they are both beautiful and I hope you use them on the same door. I'm going to be searching for these at flea markets now.

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  47. What a treasure to find that lovely finish underneath. Well done, as always, for saving them.

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  48. You have had such wonderful surprises with this house! My jaw dropped on the Bennington knob. SOOOO beautiful!

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  49. It simply amazes me why someone would paint those in the first place!

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  50. I've been enjoying watching your renovation unfold. If I may offer a suggestion for the doors you need to strip: http://backtonatureprod.com/Pages/readystrip-PD.html

    Back to Nature is eco-friendly and works beautifully. I bought an antique mantel with about 10 layers of paint on it - so much the detail was obscured. My mother gave me Ready Strip and I put a coat on and let it sit for a day. The paint peeled off in huge strips, right down to bare wood. Just the highly details areas needed a little work with a wire brush to clean the remover and paint out of the crannies. I'm pleased to report the mantel cleaned up beautifully and is now in my bedroom.

    Wendy

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  51. Would the white knob benefit from a hydrogen peroxide bath per Reggie Darling's recent post on bleaching his discolored leaf dish?

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  52. Hmmm. I'll have to check that out. Thanks for letting me know, Lynn.

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  53. The anticipation for the end result was strong I bet. I love the first knob, so pretty and different. You have a lot of patience Steve. I believe it pays off too. All your finish projects are so lovely. Patience is a virtue. I would have thrown out those old knobs and what a mistake that would have been.

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  54. What great knobs for your doors! I love that you knew enough not to buy new ones but to take the time to return them to their prior glory. They are really worth it!

    Gretchen
    birdnestcottage.net

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  55. Hi Steve, your diligence is paying off. Beautiful antique doorknobs. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  56. The fascinating thing about this, after the first wonderful doorknob discovery, is revealing the second white porcelain knob and understanding then the reasoning of the person who first painted them.

    We have stripped various things in the past, hoping to reveal a 'swan', only to find an ugly duckling!

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  57. Talk about hidden treasure. I don't know which is more exciting: living in a home that has few changes since it was built in 1931 (like mine) or unearthing, stripping, and discovering old elements like your wonderful doorknobs. Shiree'

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  58. Just found your great blog whilst hopping around and thought I'd come over and join up to follow your renovation.
    Paul

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  59. Wow! Amazing! I just bought my first home. Its an 1898 Queen Anne Victorian. Luckily no one dared to paint the hardware, however, all the upstairs bedroom doors and trim was painted white. Can't wait to see how your door stripping goes!

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  60. i know you're sensitive to the hands that have loved and touched the things in your house. looking at the original surfaces of these old door knobs reminded me of the old country song.
    http://open.spotify.com/track/1EavEPrpJEnDe0cntHmnm1

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