How To Clean Up Vintage Metal Hardware

I’m working on this awesome vintage buffet right now.

aqua buffet_before

(What? It doesn’t look awesome to you? No worries! This is just the “before” shot.)

I still have a lot of work to do to repair those out-of-whack drawers and paint the entire piece, but I wanted to share with you a quick tip for restoring vintage metal hardware to its shiny glory.

This is what the hardware looked like earlier today.

IMG_0203I kind of liked how the patina looked, but the handles felt a little … (ew!) grimy.

So I cracked open an ice cold Mountain Dew.

IMG_0206Red Solo Cup … I lift you up!

But this wasn’t a party—just an easy-peasy way to clean gunk and grime off of metal drawer handles.

I plopped the handles into the Mountain Dew and let them soak.

NOTE: It does not have to be Mountain Dew—that’s just what I had in my fridge. I don’t even like it, but my brother-in-law does so I keep a few on hand for when he comes over. You can use any carbonated beverage.

ANOTHER NOTE: DON’T DRINK IT!! (You wouldn’t think I would have to say that … but I said it to my 3-year-old about three times today!)

Here’s what the handles looked like a few hours later.

hardware_comparisonThe handle on the left is fresh out of the Mountain Dew bath. It looks a little bit brighter than the “before” shot.

The handle on the right shows what it looks like after a little bit of elbow grease. I do mean just a little bit. The grime was coming off easily just by rubbing the hardware with my thumb. I gave it a good scrub with a scouring pad and you can see a big difference now. Look at that pretty flower detail.

I was happy with how my hardware looked at this point.

But then my husband—a former U.S. Army officer—came over to see what I was doing.

“Are you going to shine those?” he asked.

Um … I just did.

Nope. Didn’t pass inspection.

He rummaged under the kitchen sink and pulled out a can of Brasso and an old toothbrush I didn’t even know were under there.

Check them out now! (You might want to put on some sunglasses first.)


I can’t wait to share the finished project with you!


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All Things New Again is a family-owned furniture and paint boutique located in Leesburg, VA. We take old, beat-up furniture that nobody loves anymore and we make it beautiful again. We can teach YOU how to do it too!

Please join us for our Learn How To Paint Furniture Intro Class held the first Sunday of every month. You will learn—and practice—numerous techniques for revitalizing furniture like a pro + complete a cute project to take home and enjoy. At $99, our class is the best deal around.

Call us at 703-779-2991 to sign up today!




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