I ran across this post (inspired by a This Old House tutorial) months before beginning the guest bathroom projects, so I purchased a crockpot for a few dollars at an online auction. I’d used paint stripper in the past, but the fumes and multiple coats required (not to mention lack of efficacy on small details) made that method undesirable.
When we found the paint-caked medicine cabinet, I felt no dismay upon discovering that the hardware had been painted over so many times it wouldn’t even move. Likewise, when I snagged these intricate hinges at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (for an insanely low price), I could tell they were beautiful under all that paint.
I followed the easy tutorial, brushing the paint out of the tiny details with a dish brush (using a toothpick on particularly stubborn areas). A little dish soap and some more brushing rendered the final shine! This entire process is extremely easy, non-toxic, and is safe for removing lead paint.
The hinges look brand new after installation, and the hardware on the mirror functions as well as it would have in 1906. Success! Now I want to pull all the hardware off everything and dump it in the crock pot! And I’ll probably redo the vintage doorknob plates as well.