4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges (& more) | Pretty Handy Girl

4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges (& other door hardware)

4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges (& more) | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you find yourself in the unfortunately situation of having door hinges that have been painted over? I get your frustration. Almost every door hinge in our house has been painted over. Taping off a hinge when you paint a door is not hard to do. You can purchase pre-cut painter’s tape to cover hinges, so there’s really no excuse except laziness. Today I’ll show you 4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges, and I’ll tell you which is the easiest (in my opinion.)

remove paint from metal hinges

To avoid removing the doors, systematically remove one hinge from each door. For example, start with all the top hinges. Remove them and scrape the paint from all those hinges. Then re-install all the top hinges and remove the middle hinges next. It took me the better part of a day, but eventually all our hinges were beautiful and shiny again.

2 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Door Hinges | Pretty Handy Girl

There are four ways to remove paint from hinges. Three of them involve heat, the fourth involves using a chemical stripper.

Alright, let’s get to this.

4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges (and other hardware)

1. Paint Stripper:

Use a paint stripper like CitriStrip (less toxic than other strippers.) Jessica shares a great tutorial for removing paint from a metal lamp here. This is a good way to remove paint from larger items. Especially ones that can’t be put in a pot or crock pot. But, it will also work on smaller items like door hinges. Be sure to wear gloves.

How to Remove Spray Paint from Metal

2. Heat Gun:

A heat gun is a great tool for removing paint (and stickers.) You’ll need to prep the area underneath to avoid burning anything. A piece of sheet metal on top of tile, concrete or scrap plywood should be sufficient.


2 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Door Hinges | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Heat Gun
  • Putty knife, scraper or 5-in-1 painter’s tool
  • Gloves
  • Detail nylon or wire brush
  • Pliers or metal tongs
  • Sheet metal
  • Fine grit sandpaper and/or steel wool


Turn on the heat gun and allow it to heat up. Lay the hinges onto the sheet metal or protected work surface. Concentrate the heat onto the hinge.

2 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Door Hinges

In a minute or two, the paint should start to soften, liquify or bubble up. Use the pliers to hold the hinge as you scrape the paint off with the putty knife.

2 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Door HingesYou may need to repeat heating the hinge and scraping to get all the paint off.

scraping paint off hinges

Use the brush to scrape paint out of small groves and crevices.

wire brush paint off hinges

After most of the paint has been scraped off. Use fine grit sandpaper to shine the hinge.

sand scraper shine hinges

Finish off by buffing it with steel wool.

steel wool remove paint hinges

3. Boiling Water:

Grab an old pot that you don’t use for cooking (or buy a cheap one at a thrift store) because it’s going to get nasty. Fill the pot halfway with water and set it on the stove on high heat. Set the hinges in the pot and boil for 15-20 minutes. Lift the hinges out with tongs and wear gloves as you scrape and buff off all the paint. This video will give you a good idea for how to remove paint from hinges using the boiling water technique.

4. Crock Pot:

Similar to boiling the hinges in water, you can put the hinges in a crock pot, turn it on high and let them cook overnight. In the morning use the same steps as with the boiling water. You should have a cheap crockpot reserved for this purpose. Don’t cook your food in this crockpot.

There you have it! 4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges! Which is my favorite? I prefer the boiling water. Not only is it chemical free, but it’s also the quickest technique. Plus, you don’t need to go buy a heat gun if you don’t already own one. And I try to avoid using chemicals of any kind.

crock pot remove paint from door hinges and other hardware

Re-install the hinge and clap yourself on the back for saving money and saving something old.

brass hinge no paint cleaned

It is worth noting one weird thing that happened was the hinges have a pretty copper color instead of the brass color I think they originally were. Any chemists out there have the explanation?

remove paint from hinges and hardware

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33 replies
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  1. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this!! we just bought a log cabin, and all of the cabinetry is plywood that’s been painted. The person painted the hinges and the pulls and everything so we’ve taken all the cabinet doors off and now we were going to replace all the hardware. But I noticed that the hinges were this beautiful copper color, so I used your method, and all of the hinges came out beautifully

  2. Shirley Ankenman Darby
    Shirley Ankenman Darby says:

    Brass is typically 90% Copper and 10% Zinc. I had this happen, too on some 130+ year old hinges. I thought they would be gray or brass colored, but are a nice copper with black accent rings around the screw holes! My supposition is that the paint removal also takes off a thin layer of the brass mixture, and the copper, for some reason, is what shows. I am not a chemist!

  3. Helen Pass
    Helen Pass says:

    Will this work for hinges that are 120 years old or will it harm them? They are metal but I’m not sure what kid of metal.

  4. Alan Pastre
    Alan Pastre says:

    WARNING!!! If the home is pre 1978 DO NOT use a heat gun! It is likely the paint may contain lead and heating it will release lead vapors which you in turn will inhale. I am a certified lead paint contractor.

  5. Susan Glisson
    Susan Glisson says:

    I have old hinges that are painted over and there is rust coming through. Does the boiling method remove the rust also or does it cause more rust?


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