Sunday, April 4, 2010

Madame Sunday polishes some brass.

If you've been paying attention you might have noticed that the ModernSauce ranch is kind of a shithole that Madame Sunday is barely attempting to renovate.  I figured since I have this here blog I might as well post about the process because I like to publicly humiliate myself while mildly entertaining my reader(s).  

Reading about the renovation will either be a psuedo-useful instruction manual, a horrible warning (like those methface posters but for your house) or moral support for other renovators.  If you happen to also be renovating a house then gawd bless you and go pour yourself (another) glass of wine.  Y'all deserve it. 

The title of this post isn't a sexy euphemism for anything I really did spend the weekend polishing some door hinges.  I've had them on my kitchen counter for several months and the doors stacked in the laundry room all awaiting motivation.  When you live alone you really see how unnecessary doors are so it was no big loss. When you live alone you also see how unnecessary cleaning your toilet is too but that's a different story.

I suppose my guests are tired of looking at my vacuum cleaner and the bushels of tampons I buy in bulk.  Hoity toity bitches.

The before.  Thanks for taping off all your paint jobs previous lazy owners!  Why are there so many scratches on these things?  Did you keep a hostage in the closet and they were trying to escape?  I thought there might have been a ghost here...

At one point I had tried to organize them by where they went.  How cute.  And yet so utterly pointless since I kept them like that for all of about five minutes.

Awww...  people in olden times were so helpful.

I waited for hours to take this stunning picture for the dramatic afternoon sunlight to highlight the ill-fitting chemical gloves.  Glove makers are so sexist because the only sizes they come in are small man-hands, medium sausage fingers or large grizzly paw.  They don't make delicate angel-hand gloves.  If they need a hand model I will gladly volunteer.

To clean 50 years of filth from brass you soak the hinges in a bath of vinegar and scrub slightly with a soft steel wool. Although this is the preferred method of internet peoples nowhere did it say that it will, in fact, take the finish off.  Thanks a lot internet assholes.  I'm sure in no way did I get the instructions wrong.

Of course once you take the finish off the hinges are left to the elements so by the time I woke up the next day they had big rusted parts where I hadn't dried them completely.  Fuckin A.  The whole kitchen smelled like dirty metal, old rust and vinegar.  Like a triple homicide while you were dying eggs for Easter morning (do you like how I made that relevant to current events?!).

So then I cleaned everything again, dried COMPLETELY and then polished with Brasso.  If you're wondering Brasso alone didn't do shit to cut through the layers of nicotine and filth on the hardware.  

The final product.  Yeah the before and after pictures are of different sets...  I wonder how that happened??  And I see there's a little paint dribble over there but I swear to gawd I couldn't scrape it off.  If vinegar takes the finish off I'm sure paint thinner would have completely dissolved the entire hinge like the acid bath for cartoons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  (Yeah, I just referenced that movie.)

The dribble will be fine.  If you point it out when you visit my house I'll have Charlemagne throw up a hairball in your purse.  

Then, because I'm a genius, I attempted to "seal" the metal from further tarnish by spraying on an enamel top coat which did nothing except make the finish that I had so painstakingly polished again turn gritty and flat.  I guess Rustoleum and Brasso don't mix.  Anyway, I'm done.  If the hinges rust or tarnish now they can go fuck themselves.   

The rusty aftermath.  It really was like a crime scene.  And yes that red is my kitchen counter... more on that later this week.

Sorry Mother Earth.  I don't think I can compost that.

I'll probably get around to painting the doors in about September.  But at least the hinges are done!  Kinda...  Well they are abandoned.  That's how a lot of my projects end up.   But in my mind they're done and that's good enough for Madame Sunday!  Yipppee!!

 If we're keeping tabs:

The ModernSauce Ranch: 9292095380984        

Madame Sunday: 0

Moral of the story: just buy new hinges.


  1. I'm impressed that 1) you have motivation to do such projects, and 2) that you have such a keen eye for details. I've lived in my shithole of a house for years now and couldn't even tell you if my doors have hinges. I'm assuming they do, but my house was built in the 80's so the doors may be attached to the frame with just dirt and dried cocaine.... I know, not really probable, but it was the 80's so who knows...

  2. It was probably crack rather than cocaine. You know how those builders like to cut corners...

  3. Sure, tell people about your renovation, but then you get this: How long is it going to take? Really? Are you on budget? Really? I don't know why people have such a hard time remodeling their house. We love our contractor and it seems, well, kind of easy. Alpha remodelers. Hate 'em.

  4. 'Alpha remodelers'. Totally stealing that!

    I don't think you've been through a real renovation until you cry at least once a week, seriously contemplate cashing in your 401k for a faucet, weigh the pros and cons of murder and develop a mild drinking problem.

    I'm saluting you fellow renovator. May gawd be with you.

  5. I'm at a loss for words, but I'm smiling all over. Damn, you're good with the written word. Ever consider compiling your renovation chronicles into a book? Hell, it might just pay for the renovation. Just sayin'.

  6. Omigod you're a genius! what the hell am I doing with all this blogging for free shit?! Thanks for all your comments and praise!! It makes me squee.