How to Strip Paint from All Things Metal

We encourage you to paint practically every surface in a rental home —walls, floors, ceilings—but there are a few spots we hate to see coated in paint. We're talking metal doors, radiators, hinges, and doorknobs, sometimes painted on purpose, other times victims of errant splatters and drips. They deserve to shine (literally)—and there's no reason they have to stay covered up. Designer Samuel Amoia stripped away "decades of paint" to reveal a gorgeous zinc door in his Manhattan apartment, and he shared his tried-and-true formula with us.

Amoia's zinc door in all its metal glory.

First, grab a steel paint scraper and a bottle of chemical stripper (find both at your local hardware store). Apply the stripper, let it sit for a few hours, and scrape it off; repeat. Prepare to be patient—"it took a while," says Amoia of his door project. Once the surface is paint-free, consider adding a clear sealant for a bit of protection. "But it oxidizes and wears off," notes Amoia, "so you have to reapply often. We also use a rust remover to get rid of the rust spots that happen from normal moisture, especially on radiators and windowsills." One look at your newly polished pieces and you'll come to the conclusion that the tender loving care is well worth it.

Amoia also removed layers of paint from this radiator.

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