Recently while visiting my sister, I was able to help her with a project she was working on. She purchased a previously loved piano bench and was refinishing it for her husband. Originally it was “fire engine” red and had a distressed look. After stripping it and repainting it black, she was stuck with what to do with the hinges. The previous owner had been a bit sloppy and the once brass hinges were now red.
After some internet research we opted to try a method recommended by This Old House. I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, and if it had not come from such a reliable source I may not have tried it.
Here is a review of how we removed the red paint. We began with her large 6 quart slow-cooker and used a slow-cooker liner (Reynolds brand). We filled it half full with water and a cap full of laundry detergent (All brand). We placed two hinges and the twelve screws in the pot and set it on high for eight hours and headed out for a day of sight-seeing. When we returned we were able to use a toothbrush and scrub the paint off.
We took a break part way through for dinner, so when we came back to finish we just turned the cooker back on and went back to scrubbing. If the paint did not all come off in the first attempt we placed it back in the water while we worked on the other pieces. We found that as the pieces cooled the paint re-stuck. Keeping the pieces hot was the key.