Remember that door project. Yeh, that's it, the old throw away door I'm turning into a table.
This weekend while the family was gone I turned the kitchen into a laboratory. I realized that the painted over door hardware wasn't steel but brass. I tried the magnet and it didn't stick so I knew it was something worth trying to reclaim. What could be underneath the ugly?!
A little research and I found that white vinegar brought to a boil and then allowed to simmer would remove the paint. Then a little elbow grease with steel wool would bring about a transformation. Unfortunately I needed a pan (not aluminum-- hmm, wonder what that would do?) and pair of tongs that could never be used in the kitchen again.
It's a hard thing to explain to your wife why you need to confiscate kitchen goods. Even harder to explain to the family why the house, not to mention the neighborhood, smells like boiling vinegar. My teenager and two friends showed up unexpectedly in the middle of my chemistry. I'm not sure they'll ever come back.
Yet it's all for the good of reclaiming old thrown away items and turning them into something practical and beautiful. The picture shows one item that is still a little blotchy though not the ugly brown painted piece I started with. The others show the power of the chemical reaction and the transformation.
All it takes is an eye for the hidden, the right catalyst, and a little bit of elbow grease.