Another Hardware Salvage Story

Why do people paint over and throw away vintage hardware? I live in an area with houses built as far back as 150 years ago, and I frequently find doors, with their original hardware, in the trash. It breaks my heart to think how people don’t respect and value the design elements of their own homes. These are the details that make an older home interesting and visually stimulating to be in.

I found this door, stacked up in our alley, ready for the trash. It’s an original 4-panel, solid wood, door that matches the doors in our home… built in 1880. It’s solid, with mortise cut rails and stiles and the original mortise lock, doorknobs and backplates: the complete set.


The original mortise lock has an interesting stem with a threaded brass doorknob. My favorite design element, though, in these old doors, is the escutcheon around the doorknob. These backplates are a design element that is absent from most modern doors, and I can’t fathom why someone would paint over them! I will take them off, and using the method my father-in-law taught me, clean the old paint off and find the metal underneath. I expect these will be a cast brass, matching the doorknob… but only time will tell!

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