You may love your large bay windows or stained-glass creations in your home, but chances are if they are old the hardware that holds them closed or open is starting to look a little dated. Older windows are commonly fitted with locks, hinges, and even knobs that are made of metals prone to rust and discoloration. Before you grab a can of spray paint and a screwdriver, you should take some time to understand how to properly repaint antiquated window hardware in your home.

Removing the Hardware

The initial step in renewing your outdated window hardware will be to remove it from the window itself, which can be a job in itself. Use special care with removing screws and other fasteners and make sure the glass will be fully supported as you do so you do not apply too much pressure and cause the glass to crack. Do not be surprised if the hardware seems impossible to remove, as years of dirt and layers of paint could be holding it in place. To resolve this issue, use a thin chisel or flat screwdriver to clean around the base of the piece.

Eliminating Old Paint and Dirt

If you are unsure of what type of metal you have, using chemical cleaners to remove dirt and paint may be a bad idea that leaves you with a ruined metal finish. Fill a crock pot or large kettle with water and let the pieces simmer in hot water over night, which will usually loosen any grime, dirt, or even paint. After the lengthy soak, pull out each piece and use a stiff scrub brush to eliminate any remaining particles from each piece.

Painting Your Metal Pieces

If you choose to paint the metal pieces because they are badly tarnished or not attractive, you do need to choose your paint wisely. Using a heavy polymer paint with an adhesive added will give you a good clean coat that will not peel or crack. Make sure you completely disassemble the metal pieces before painting them, and allow the pieces to dry completely before reinstalling them on your windows.

Once you have your window hardware all cleaned, fresh, and ready to go back on, be careful with your newly painted pieces so they do not get scratched or damaged in the process. After the job is done and your hardware is reinstalled, there is no doubt your antique windows will look almost as good as they were the day they were installed. If this is a task that you would rather not tackle on your own, talk to a window restoration professional for advice, or look online for help and inspiration, such as at