Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Replating Hardware

I took a little road trip last weekend. I spent time relaxing, snowshoing and breathing fresh air. This put me into a good zen to go pick up my replated hardware. So, yesterday I drove over (again) to the plating company to pick up my loot.

Just to refresh your memory. My old bathroom hardware looked like this when I moved into my house. The original nickel was worn off in spots & others were rusted.

I brought the hardware in to the plating company. On a whim, I also brought along a heat vent cover that I had stripped of ugly brown paint.

The guy at the plating company told me he would charge me $30 for the hardware and $60 for the vent to replate them in nickel. A bit pricey for the vent, but I figured it would look more like the original (vs. the black paint I had planned on using). I agreed.

A week later he called me to tell me they were done. I drove over to pick them up. When I walked into the shop there was a young guy polishing my pieces. They then wrapped them up in newspaper, and I took them home. When I got home and unwrapped them, much to my disappointment, I noticed that were chips along the edges of most of the pieces. The vent cover appeared to be ok. I drove the door hardware pieces back to the shop and he agreed to sandblast them down again and (re)replate them. It kind of ticked me off that the younger guy polishing the pieces didn't say - "wait a sec, we need to redo these" - before I got all the way home. What happened to care of the customer & pride of craftsmanship?

They told me it would take a couple of days. I waited for a call. None came. So two weeks later, I drove over to the shop. There sat my hardware, sandblasted but no new finish. I drove home and waited another week. Drove back. Not done yet. Another week. I drove over and the guy pulled out my pieces. They were done, but they were done in a brushed nickel finish. I wanted a shiny nickel finish. They told me a couple of more days to (re)(re)replate. The guy also told me they would give me some type of credit.

I waited. No call. So, after two weeks I drove over to the shop again. They were done. I inspected them closely. They were shiny and didn't have chips. Finally. No mention was made of giving me credit for my troubles. And to be honest I just wanted to get out of that place. By this time I felt like some type of pain in the neck customer.

The (re)(re)replated hardware looks good, I think. It is a thicker plating then they put on it the first time (when it was chipped).

However, when I laid out the pieces to take a photo, I noticed the the vent cover now has spots of rust coming through the too thin area in the vent grill (sigh). I've put a carnauba wax on the metal and hope this will stop it. For $60 it should not be rusting, but after my misadventure I am done with that place.

Would I replate again? Absolutely. Would I use that plating company again? No.


Greg said...

Well, they look great, and I guess that is the important thing. Still, what a hassle.

I was surprised buy the cost of it. I was lead to believe that plating was more expensive then that. I guess $60 is high for the grate, but $30 for the door hardware seems very affordable. Cheaper then buying quality new stuff, that's for sure.

StuccoHouse said...

Yea, I do think they look nice. I'm enough of a purist that they would have been used as is or replated. I don't think I could have brought myself to replace them.

I actually could have had more pieces done for $30. The price was determined by how many pieces they can fit into their basket (not the technical word, I'm sure). I looked around my house for more pieces to include, but the rest of my stuff is oil rubbed bronze. The vent cover was more because of its size - theyalso sandblasted some of the old paint off of it as my stripping job was not too detailed. I know they offered chrome & nickel. Not sure what other metals they did.

I think if I have more replating done in the future, I will look for a place that does custom plating for motorcycles. I could be wrong, but I'd suspect their attention to the final product might be a bit better. I can't imagine handing a biker a chipped piece of chrome for his/her custom bike would turn out well.

Unknown said...

Those look great. Sorry for all the misfortune though. Magically enough, that door hardware is exactly what we have as well in our bathroom. It is reassuring to know that the plating wasn't too expensive. That is about 1/2 the price of buying a new knob and plate at rejuvenation. Thanks! jef

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