How to Remove Paint Off Door Hinges Without Removing Them

If you’ve ever had to remove a door, whether it be an exterior entry door or an internal door, you know just how difficult and tedious the process can be.  That’s why when you get paint on a door’s hinges, you’re probably left wondering if you can remove the paint without painstakingly removing the entire door.  Fortunately, you can remove the paint off the door’s hinges and there are a few ways to do so.

 a man tightening door hinges

Magic Eraser

Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean is well, magic!  Ok, it’s not exactly magic, but the chemicals in a Magic Eraser can certainly get the job of removing paint off your door hinges done without much of a problem.  Magic Eraser’s secret ingredient is melamine.  Melamine has a nitrogen-rich organic base that proves to be a powerful abrasive in its solid state.

Magic Eraser’s melamine isn’t a strong enough solvent to remove paint on its own.  That’s why it’s advertised to clean smudges, stains, and dirt-painted surfaces off without stripping the paint.  So, can you use a Magic Eraser to remove paint off of your hinges?  While you can’t use it to remove dried paint, you can use it to take off fresh stains.

To use Magic Eraser to remove fresh paint stains from your door hinges, simply dip the pad into the water, wring out the excess, and scrub the affected area.  Rinse and repeat this process until the paint stains are removed from the hinges.

Goof Off

Goof Off is formulated to be a DIYer’s best friend.  It removes paint of all kinds like dried latex, acrylic, enamel paint, varnish, shellac, tape adhesive residue, oil spills, old caulking, and tar.  Goof Off is easy to use—simply spray the affected area and use a dry rag or microfiber cloth to wipe the paint stains off of the hinges.  Depending on what kind of paint is on the hinges and how old it is, you may need to reapply the Goof Off and use a more abrasive scrubbing pad to remove the paint.

There are also similar products comparable to Goof Off like the product CitriStrip that have different levels of toxicity and application purposes.  You might be more comfortable using something with a stronger formula if you don’t have to worry about kids or pets being exposed to the chemicals.

Mineral Spirits

If oil-based paint is staining your door hinges, then try using mineral spirits.  Mineral spirits and paint thinners dissolve oil-based paints.  Mineral spirits is a clear solvent that will work against wet and newly applied paint.  You can pick up a canister at your local hardware store (or online).


What if the paint on the hinges is dry?  Most of the methods to remove paint relies on the paint being fresh for easy removal.  Acetone is highly effective in removing dried paint.  It’s a paint thinner and remover that can clear away epoxy resins, ink, lacquers, and dried latex paint.  It evaporates quickly, which means that it doesn’t leave behind a residue.


When chemicals fail, there’s the good old-fashioned razor blade trick.  Nothing takes off dried paint like the sharp edge of a razor blade.  With the door on the hinges, carefully use the razor blade to scrape off the paint from the hardware.  You can then follow up with a secondary paint-removal method like Goof Off, a Magic Eraser, or some mineral spirits.  Clean off the hinges with a dry rag once you’re finished.

If You Do Remove the Hinges…

You could be facing too many paint stains to effectively remove them while the door remains on its hinges.  Should that be the case, you’ll need to take the door off with a power drill and plenty of patience.  Try this method to take off the paint:

Take all of the door hardware that is stained with paint and place them in an old cooking pot that you do not plan to use again.  Fill the pot with water and immerse the stained door hinges and bring to a gentle, rolling boil.  Let the hinges remain in the boiling water for about ten minutes.  The hot water should break down the paint particles and after a few minutes of exposure, the hinges will shed the layer of paint and appear brand new.

a man removing door hinges

For stubborn paint stains, remove the hinges from the pot after some time with tongs (careful, as they’re hot), place them on a dry towel, and allow them to cool.  Use an additional method of paint remover like Goof Off, a razor, or mineral spirits to help remove the remaining paint.  At this point, the paint should come off rather easily as the water has broken down the paint particles.

You could use the boiling water method while the door remains on the hinges, but it will be messy and tricky.  This method works best for extremely stubborn paint stains, paint that’s difficult to reach while the door is on the hinges or ones that have long since cured.

Feldco has high-quality doors in many shapes and sizes to perfectly fit your home. We also have professional and experienced installers to make sure the job is done correctly.

We provide homeowners with great local services and showrooms so they can customize their homes with a variety of styles and colors. Get a free quote today to start your project.

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