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Removing Paint from Vintage French Chandelier

Q. Hi,

I bought a pretty vintage French cage chandelier and some heathen has re-painted the whole frame in gold paint such that it looks kind of brand new. It is definitely old...but how do I now go about removing this horrid paint to try to get it back to something like where it would have been before...? is there any way of 'dipping' this as I can't imagine removing it all with wire wool...?


Susan Shaw
- Chester, UK


Ed. note: Hmm, is "heathen" acceptable or is it a derogatory term that we should strike from the page? :-)

thumbs up sign I vote for keeping it; when taken in the general context of the posting :-)
James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

A. Heathen: OED(2) An unenlightened person; a person regarded as lacking in taste or moral principles. Seems a perfectly good description of someone who would paint a vintage chandelier.
Susan: Visit B&Q and and ask for their advice on the paint section. You need a paint on, wash off paint stripper. (Nitromors is a good brand).
Unless the (supply your own adjective) perpetrator used an epoxy paint, these work well with a little patience.
Don't play with home brews unless you have facility to get rid of the remains when you have finished.
geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

A. You can use any good proprietary paint stripper, or if you like do it yourself way, immerse it in 20% sodium hydroxide solution (if there are no soft soldered parts!,use rubber gloves [adv: item on eBay & Amazon] and safety goggles [adv: item on eBay & Amazon]). Ammoniated acetone [adv: item on eBay & Amazon] can be useful too. Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Cerovski vrh Croatia

Removing brass paint from a gold plated chandelier

Q. I have a beautiful fine crystal chandelier, the metal is gold plated. Someone who was supposed to clean the chandelier instead spray painted dull brass paint over all the gold. Is there any way that I can now remove that sprayed paint and keep the gold undamaged. I have had this chandelier for 45 years and it was in pristine condition. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Lily

Lily Flacks
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
May 2, 2018

A. Hi Lily. Organic paint strippers do not hurt metal, so the previous advice should be fine. Try turpentine [affil link] first; if that doesn't work, Aircraft Stripper surely will. But aircraft stripper (methylene chloride) is truly noxious stuff and, in addition to the previous warnings and suggestions about chemical gloves and goggles, you'll only want to do it outside and standing upwind.

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

thumbs up sign As said I do agree methylene chloride is noxious whereas a few paint strippers in the market are way more toxic and hard to handle that evaporates at a snap. Looking forward to more effective way to remove the paint from metal (G.I, Al, S.S) at lower cost.
balentine stone
November 21, 2022

Ed. note: We've been building a legacy of aloha & camaraderie here that is incompatible with anonymity;
everyone is welcome to read anonymously, but is asked to only post with their real name :-)

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