What I Learned While Remodeling My HomeWhat I Learned While Remodeling My Home


About Me

What I Learned While Remodeling My Home

Me and my wife bought a fixer-upper a few years ago with every intention on converting it into our dream home. The problem was, we were not nearly as skilled in home construction and remodeling as we thought we were. After a few failed projects, we needed to really take a step back and reevaluate our plan. We knew there was no money in the budget to hire a contractor to do everything, so there were some skills we were going to have to learn on our own. After several months of actively seeking out the information we needed to get the job done, we were finally able to successfully remodel the kitchen in our new house. While the house is still a work in progress, we are successfully accomplishing new tasks every day. In this blog, I hope to bring together all of the information we learned along the way.

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How To Remove The Finish On Brass Doors

Bringing old commercial doors back to life can take work. Brass doors were popular during the past century on commercial buildings, but over time, the grand appearance of these doors can become dull as the original lacquer finish wears off and exposes the brass to oxygen. You will need to clean the doors and remove the old finish on them before you can put a new finish on the door to restore the doors to their original shiny appearance. Here is how you can clean and remove the old finish on brass doors.

You Will Need:

  • Brass Cleaner
  • Acetone
  • Degreaser
  • Soap
  • Fine Steel Wool (Grade 0000)
  • Green Scrubbing Pads
  • Rags
  • Newspapers
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Safety Glasses

Clean the Surface

There will usually be a layer of dirt on the surface of the doors from years of usage and exposure to the elements. You should remove this layer of dirt with soapy water and a rag. You'll also need to remove the scuff marks created by years of shoe and boots rubbing against the bottom of the door. You can remove scuff marks by spraying a commercial-grade degreaser onto the marks. Rub the degreaser into the marks with a green scrubbing pad until the marks break up and you can wipe them away with a rag. Once it's been cleaned, you should rinse the door with water to remove the residue from the soap and degreaser.

Remove Lacquer

Lacquer is put on the surface of doors to protect the brass from oxidizing and changing color when exposed to air. You can use acetone to remove the lacquer. You should wear solvent-resistant rubber gloves and safety glasses to protect against the acetone getting onto your skin or into your eyes. If acetone gets into your eyes, you should seek immediate medical help to flush the acetone out of your eyes. Put newspapers under the doors to catch any acetone drips down off the door and onto the ground. Place the acetone on white cotton balls and rub them into the lacquer until the lacquer dissolves. Wipe the surface clean with a rag.

Cleaning the Brass

The last step for preparing the doors for a new finish is to clean the brass. You'll want to use ultra fine steel wool pads (Grade 0000) to scrub the brass with a brass cleaner – thicker grades of steel wool will scratch the door. You should also rub in the direction of the grain of the brass to avoid scratching the surface. The brass surface will turn chalky once it has been thoroughly cleaned. At this point, you can start to apply the new finish. For more information on commercial doors, contact a professional like S & J Door Inc.