Rusty Gold

The American Pickers (Mike and Frank) call it “Rusty Gold”.  My husband calls it junk.  I call it a challenge to make something old beautiful again.

Hence- my doors.  Newt removed these doors from the 1906 house before they burned it down.  (Sandhiller carpenters haven’t changed in a century- instead of laying a foundation, the 1900 cowboys put down railroad ties.  A century later the ties rotted out and collapsed on the plumbing pipes beneath.  And the house had large bull snakes living underneath.  Newt was ready to light the match!)

The doors were heavy, but solid wood and had great knobs and hinges.  I thought they were brass, but the seven layers of paint made it difficult to tell.

Here is how I went about bringing my knobs back to life.  (After they set in my basement for several years.)  The entire process is chemical free- minus the elbow grease!


*Put the hardware in a large crockpot.  Mine was a freebie.  (See the manly lavender color.  Newt thought he would paint a room tan in his old house, so he mixed a dark brown with white.  Not tan.)


*Pour water over the top of the knobs and hinges.  (Note to self: in the future, remove the knobs from the bar, otherwise they fill up with water and a rusty mess will run out.)

*Set the crockpot on low and let cook overnight.  (Or turn it on low and forget to plug in the crockpot.  ooops- who did that?)  I had to cover my crockpot with foil (why I got it for free.)

 *Turn off the heat and let the water cool.  Take out the hardware and scrape off the softened paint.  Dispose of water/paint carefully, as it may contain lead.  Or several layers of lead in this case.  (WARNING: Use common sense.  Please.  Don’t drink the water or use your crockpot for food. geez.)

*Set out your shiny gold to dry and admire your hard work.


I used a little cleaner to shine up the doorknobs, since I didn’t have any Brasso.  (Brasso is wonderful!  Makes everything so shiny!)  My knobs turned out to be a pinky color and not brass.  I did find some brass hinges, but I put my pretty hinges in for this picture.

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