The Spring Clean: Part 1

The Spring Clean

Hey y’all! Has this amazing warm weather got anyone else completely thrilled for spring? I can taste the Abita Strawberry and smell the cut grass already, and it makes me HAPPY! My man and I spent our weekend outside, enjoying the sunny warmth, and manicuring our yard.  Well, he did the manicuring.  I just spent hours wandering around and cutting random branches from trees.  You would think I might have more of a “green thumb” by now.  But nope.  I have come to terms with the fact that no matter how much I want to be a successful gardener or how much practice I put in, keeping a plant alive and growing a beautiful garden just are NOT in my future.   Nevertheless, it really got me inspired to get a head start on my spring cleaning indoors.

“The Spring Clean” will be my detailed play-by-play for some of the many spring cleaning projects I take on this year.

First on the list…. my tarnished window hardware.

I love so much about this little old house we love in, but one thing is certainly undeniable.  It definitely has it’s “quirks!” I love the squeaks, and charm but some parts need a bit of T.L.C.  I have always enjoyed subtle touches of brass in a home.  All the window frames in my house came with brass hardware.  However, between the age and someone’s lazy paint job, you could hardly tell they were there! Not for long, y’all. Here is how I managed to transform my old, tarnished window pulls into shiny, new beauties.

The Spring Clean: Tarnished Hardware

It drives me up the wazoo when painters get lazy with hardware and window frames.  (Removing unwanted paint from the windows will be my next project.) So thank you Mr. Painter-30-years-ago, this is what you left me with…

Tarnished hardware

After thinking back to a project I did for a client, I had a lightbulb moment.  I remember about a year ago, a client of mine wanted me to remove the paint from their fireplace doors to expose the original brass.  After a long trial and error process, the quickest and simplest solution was Goo-Gone.  They call it a graffiti remover, but now I use it for all sorts of things…Like my window hardware.

I doused all of the pulls, and the screws that went with them, in Goo Gone.  Let is soak for about 20 minutes, or until you see the paint begin to peel away from the surface.  After a good squirt with the garden hose, this is what we got…

tarnished hardware 2

With the paint removed, it was time to work on getting these guys back to their shiny shelves.  I did a bit of research online and followed the advice of others to soak the brass in a bath of hot water, white vinegar, and salt.  Letting that soak for 30 minutes or so… I was not too happy with these results.  The brass had turned pink in color and had these weird green patches.  (This might have been an indication that my window pulls were not real brass, but WANNA-BES!)

tarnished hardware 3

At this point I was feeling a bit defeated.  So, in an attempt make my pulls attractive enough to be used again, I took to them with some steel wool.  I turned the faucet on warm, put a drop of grease removing dish soap, and scrubbed ’til the cows came home!

tarnished hardware 3

Much to my surprise, it worked!  Don’t get me wrong, these pulls aren’t perfect….but they are without a doubt GREATLY improved.  I am very pleased with the results and I love the subtle sparkle it adds back to the bedroom.

new and improved hardware

back to brass

Stay tuned for The Spring Clean (Part 2) where will I tackle removing the paint from those old window panes.

xoxo jordan

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