Thursday, November 03, 2005

A New Shine

I've been slowly plugging away at restoring my bathroom in between other projects.

I've installed an L shaped shower curtain rod to protect the window sill, had a new tub drain put in, plugged up plumbing holes with plumber's putty, hunted down a vintage medicine cabinet (downstairs waiting patiently for me), added black ceramic base tile to replace a plastic strip, hunted down vintage black ceramic towel, etc. hardware, stripped & restored the window, currently stripping layers of paint off of the heat return grate......

One item I have been considering for a while is having the inside door knob & back plate (and possibly the plate to the lock mechanism) to the bathroom replated. I first thought it just needed to be polished but soon discovered the chrome finish is worn through. Then I hunted for a vintage replacement knob but learned due to varying spindle sizes replacement is almost impossible unless you are willing to change the entire lock and both knobs.

I'm not overly concerned with it looking pristine (I have rehabbed my old hardware everywhere else), but for some reason this knob always looks grungy & dirty the way it is. Not the look I am going for in my finished bathroom.

So, I'm considering the replating idea. I have seen the company advertised in the old house magazines and have located some companies nearby via the yellow pages.

Has anyone had this done? Does your hardware still operate properly once done? What kind of cost should I expect? Does it wear well? Advice?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dunno about getting it replated. That sounds like it would be expensive and it probably wouldn't look nice unless you got the old finish completely off first.

This sounds silly, but instead of those restoration places, try a junkyard. They sometimes have nice old hardware (and always have more nice old radiators than they want).

-Peter Sanchez

kris said...

Rechroming is totally worth it!

Here's a local resource:
J&D Plating
2120 Gilbert Ave
St. Paul
651-251-7400

We rechromed an old flush handle and it's gorgeous. I think I posted about it back in August. Anyways, they have a $40 minimum, so your best deal is to have a few things done at once.

Greg said...

I came very close to getting some hinges replated with nickel but decided it was not in the budget. I'll be very interested in seeing how much it costs.

Here is a zany idea from my youth. When the chrome parts on my bike used to show little specks of rust I would take a small ball of aluminum foil and rub it on the chrome. Sort of like if you were using it has sand paper. It took the rust away and the chrome shined. It may hold you over until you get it plated. If you do try this be sure to try it on something inconspicuous first.

StuccoHouse said...

Peter - I discovered there is no shortage of old knobs...I went through maybe 100. It's getting them to fit that turns out to be the trick. Aren't those nice old radiators something? Some of those old designs are so cool! Makes me miss having steam heat.

Kris - Hurray! A referral. $40 I can handle. The lever you had redone looks really nice. I have the knob, backplate and (if they can do it) the side plate. That's all the chrome I have in the house....maybe I can find something on my motorcycle to plate :-)

Greg - I'll post back on the final price/details. Too funny about the tin foil....I used to do that on the chrome of my beloved first car. I'd be tempted to try it here as a temp fix, but the pictures don't capture how worn it is....the knob is pretty bad.

I'm still curious if anyone has done a piece with moving parts. If I do the sideplate, will the latch still move properly??

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