Monday, July 25, 2011


I have finally finished painting the trim on the four windows in the front parlor.  Finally.  No more standing in the oven.  Just one more big window (with no stained glass panes, so no teeny muntins!) to paint, and a second coat of paint on the baseboard, and then I can put up wallpaper in the front parlor.

What's that you said?  Oh, you thought I said I was going to finish the other parlor first?  Wellllll, I did say that.  But I got sidetracked.  And this time, it wasn't my short attention span or my tendency to bang around the house like a pinball that sidetracked me.  It was something worse.  Now listen up, because I don't say these words very often: 

I can't do it by myself.

Ack!  It pains me to say that.  I absolutely, positively hate admitting that I need help.  Even worse, I hate asking for help.  This time, though, I'm going to have to.  See, before I can finish painting the trim in there, I need to remove the hardware from two transom windows and from the clothes press.  The clothes press has eight hinges, four cabinet latches, and two (or maybe three) ornate hooks.  Of course, every bit of this hardware has paint glommed all over it.  The screws aren't even visible on the transom hardware.  I've tried the old trick of putting the screwdriver in the slot and then whacking it with a hammer, I've tried using stripper to get the paint off the screws, but no matter what I try, I just can't get a good enough bite on the screw to remove it.  I shouldn't feel bad about this, I guess, because I remember Mare having a lot of trouble getting the hinges off the doors when we restored that hardware.  (Now that I think about it, I seem to remember nagging asking him to take the rest of the hardware off the doors and windows...)

So, until I can get someone over here to help me, I can't finish the other parlor.  Unless one of you fine people reading this has another idea for how to remove painted-over hardware...Know it?  Spill it in the comments.  Please and thank you!


  1. A utility knife works very well for getting at painted-over hardware. You can use it to cut around the edges, to burrow down to the screws, and to clean out the screw slots. Once you get the blade down into the paint, it generally will flake off just by twisting the tool.

    Oh, and while we're on the subject of painted over hardware, add a little TSP to your crockpot next time. The paint will come off more easily. A wire brush will get it out nooks and crannies.

  2. I'll second the utility knife for removing paint from screw heads.

    As for removing paint from door hardware I normally just put a little Dawn in a large pot of water and let it simmer on low overnight. The paint usually just slides right off.

  3. Once the slots in the screws are visible I always had trouble keeping the screwdriver in the slot and turning the screwdriver at the same time.Until recently when I said to idiot what would you do if this was a rusty bolt on a engine? Duh.....torque multiplier.I put a screwdriver bit in a small socket and used my ratchet with a pipe on the handle to lengthen it (thus multiplying the force). Use one hand to press on the ratchet head to keep the screwdriver bit in the slot and use the other hand to turn the ratchet.Seriously, I was shocked how easy the screws turned. Because of 30+ years of wrenching for a living, I have no strength in my hands or my wrists and elbows. They are just worn out.It's is still very important to clean out the slot completely and to use the screw driver bit that is the widest and thickest that will fit in the slot. Too narrow and or too thin of a bit will gouge the slot possibly making it impossible to reinstall. If you have a screwdriver set with interchangeable bits you should also find a sq socket to use with a ratchet. See WTB.