I'm repainting a lovely bespoke kitchen at the moment, and all the cabinet hinges had paint on them. I cleaned off a few, but it was taking quite a long time, and I had dozens! 

Putting the little grey cells into action, I put all the hinges and screws from the cabinet doors into a large freezer bag, gave them 5 squirts of Multi Task Multi-Purpose Cleaner, moved them about in the bag a bit, sealed and left for a few hours. I was told by Andy from Eco Solutions in Somerset (who make Multi Task) that it would strip paint, clean PVC, degrease hobs... so I thought it was worth a try. 

I could see that after about 3 hours a lot of the paint was loose, so I opened the bag, gave the hinges another 5 squirts, jiggled them around a bit (technical term) and resealed. 

That evening I settled down with a bit of classical music, the bag of hinges, a toothbrush and plastic scourer, ready for a marathon hinge-cleaning session. I know, living the dream and all that. I was disappointed - all the paint came off the 24 hinges in less than 10 minutes of cleaning! I had to find something else to do with my evening, so decided to write this blog. 

There are two reasons why this method may work so well. The first is that sealing the hinges in the bag means that the cleaner doesn't dry out, and can continue to work for hours. The second could be that the atmosphere in the bag may become super-saturated with the cleaner, and that cleaner 'gas' may actually help to strip the paint as well. The former is definitely true, but the latter I'm not sure about.

I'm definitely keeping a bottle of the Multi Task cleaner in my tootbox. It's non-toxic, doesn't burn skin, and has a faintly fruity odour. Nice to use and does the job well! You can currently get it online at Decorating Direct.

One bit of advice, when stripping paint off anything, always do a trial area, to make sure you're not damaging the surface that you're trying to get the paint off. This is especially important if you use caustic strippers (which I haven't done for years), but still advisable when using gentle strippers like Multi Task. 

(PS the paint was Dulux oil-based eggshell that had been on the hinges for 8 years. If the hinges had been heavily coated with many layeres of paint, it would have taken a few more applications of Multi Task.)