Removing Brass Finish from Plated Door Hinges

Using the wire wheel on a bench grinder to remove brass finish from hinges.
Using the wire wheel on a bench grinder to remove brass finish from hinges.

When changing the hardware in your home from brass to brushed nickel, you can remove the finish on plated brass door hinges to give them the look of brushed nickel without having to buy new hinges. Here’s how.

How to Remove Brass Finish on Door Hinges

  1. Remove the plated brass hinges from the door.
  2. Use the wire wheel on a bench grinder to remove the plated finish from the hinges.
  3. Spray the metal hinges with two coats of clear acrylic finish to keep the hinges from rusting.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Joe Truini: I’m remodeling a bathroom. I’m switching over all the fixtures and fitting from polished brass to brushed nickel.

But rather than buy all new door hinges, I simply removed the hinges from the door jamb, and I’m going to use a bench grinder and a wire wheel to buff off the brass finish.

It takes about four or five minutes to get all the finish off. But I’ll show you after just a few seconds how the finish—the brass finish—is off, and you’re starting to get down to the bare metal.

Here’s a hinge leaf I did earlier. The brass is completely gone. I didn’t bother doing the backside, because that’s going to go against the mortise on the jamb.

But when you’re done with getting all the brass off, then you get a clear coat of acrylic. Spray on two coats to prevent them from rusting.

And when you’re done with the hinge leaves, don’t forget you have to clean up the heads of each hinge pin as well.


  1. Great Info.. wondered if they needed to be clear lacquered after..
    Used a drill mounted wire wheel to strip the brass off, then sanded all the 4″ hinges on my entry doors, since they are Expensive to replace..

    For the remaining 5 interior doors with 3 1/2 hinges… I found a 12 pack of hinges in Satin Nickel at a Big Box Home store for $22.98

    Absolutely Hate Oak and Brass…. Already refinished all the wood.. Now
    Got rid of ALL the brass in my Condo. Light fixtures, Bathroom bar lights, doorknobs, hinges, faucets, bath fixtures, drains, ANY and ALL BRASS

    Sanded everything.. then used Spray Paint – My New Best Friend !!
    Rustoleum Painters Touch 2X Flat Gray Primer
    Base Coats of Valspar Metallic Matte Effects Brushed Nickel..
    Clear coated in 2 coats of Rustoleum Crystal Clear GLOSS Acrylic lacquer – Automotive Formulation – Door Knobs, Faucets, Bathroom, Kitchen items exposed to moisture.. Rock hard finish, and DURABLE..
    Other Items I Clear Coated in Rustoleum Special Lacquer

    Krylon ColorMaster Brushed Satin Nickel looked too powdery/blah… Rustoleum Universal Satin Nickel looked too Glittery..

    Also repainted all my ac vents / air returns…
    Same Primer
    Valspar Color Radiance Flat White
    2 coats Satin ClearCoat…

    Saved A TON of Money refinishing my old hardware!!
    Rustoleum Automotive Acrylic Clear Lacquer is A MUST for doorknobs

  2. I have some steel door hinges that I have removed the brass plating. I want to replate the steel door hinge with a black paint. If paint is not the way to do it then replate with brass. The hinges now have some rust. How do I clean off the rust and relate the hinge?
    Thanks for your help.


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