Cleaning Porcelain Drawer Knobs

Apr 1, 2019 | Furniture FAQs and Tips | 4 comments

how to clean porcelain drawer knobs

Furniture hardware is like jewelry

Hardware is like the jewelry of a piece of furniture. It provides a bit of flair and personality. Hardware also identifies the age of a piece and pinpoints it to a specific era of design. That’s why it’s so important to clean and restore the original hardware on your furniture project!

For example, when you see hardware like this, you know the piece is from the Victorian era.

This hardware is French provincial through and through.

Whenever it’s possible, I preserve the original hardware of a piece I’m working on. Some are in great shape while others need a lot of cleaning.

On my most recent project – an empire dresser – I had a lovely set of porcelain knobs that were in great condition, but they were very dirty.

cleaning porcelain knobs, bar keepers friend

In this post, I’m going to share how I went about cleaning them so they shined once more!

the problem with the knobs

When I first bought my empire dresser, it did not have the original finish on it. Someone wiped on an oil based stain/topcoat mix to darken the piece. It was not applied well. There were paint brush bristles dried in the stain and drip marks everywhere.

Worst of all, the finisher didn’t remove the knobs prior to wiping the new finish on. As a result, it got ALL OVER the gorgeous original porcelain knobs.

cleaning porcelain knobs, bar keepers friend
cleaning porcelain knobs, bar keepers friend

I really wish I could go back in time and run at the person full speed screaming, “Noooooo! Don’t do it!”.

using bar keeper’s friend to clean the knobs

My product of choice to clean the knobs was Bar Keeper’s Friend.

cleaning porcelain knobs, bar keepers friend

This product is fantastic to have on hand in your home. It’s so versatile! I use it to clean my stainless steel pots and pans, scour out our sink and shine up the handles of our sinks and tubs.

And guess what? It works great for cleaning porcelain furniture knobs!

I used varying grades of steel wool (0000 and 000 grade), a toothbrush and a green Scotch Brite pad to scrub the living daylights out of these poor neglected knobs.

cleaning porcelain knobs
cleaning porcelain knobs, bar keepers friend

Some spots were so bad, that I used my fingernails to scrape away the caked on stain/oil finish.

This is one reason why I don’t paint my nails anymore!

clean porcelain knobs!

All of my efforts certainly paid off! After finishing the first knob, I put it next one that hadn’t been cleaned yet.

The difference was incredible!

cleaning porcelain knobs

The yellowing disappeared along with the dark stain. The brown spots on the bottoms disappeared and I even cleaned the screw posts for good measure.

It took me about 30 minutes to clean all 8 of my knobs. My back got sore from being hunched over the sink in concentration, but it was worth it!

porcelain knobs

Here’s how the knobs look on my empire dresser.

empire dresser, miss mustard seeds milk paint, flow blue, artissimo, antiquing wax, hemp oil
porcelain knob, empire dresser, miss mustard seeds milk paint, flow blue, artissimo, antiquing wax, hemp oil

So the next time you have porcelain, glass or metal knobs that need a good polishing, try some Bar Keeper’s Friend! You can purchase it from the cleaning aisle of your local grocery store.

Pin this handy graphic so you can reference this tip later!

Pinterest Graphic, how to clean porcelain knobs, bar keeper's friend

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I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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