Most old house lovers agree that it’s a shame to cover up elaborate Victorian or Craftsman window molding with pulley-style draperies. Unfortunately, our grandparents didn’t feel this way which explains why so many older homes seem to have several sets of drapery hardware attached to that fancy window molding. To make matters worse, in very old homes (such as mine) that drapery hardware is usually covered beneath several layers of paint as well. Removing that over-painted hardware in such a way so as to minimize damage can be a challenge.
If you are interested in removing old, painted drapery hardware so your window molding can be refinished or repainted, these instructions will help:
Screwdriver with interchangeable heads
shim (small 1/4″ thick piece of wood)
How to remove old, painted drapery hardware
1. Carefully tap away the paint covering the drapery nails using a flat tip screwdriver and hammer.
2. Use the utility knife to lightly score the paint both around the base of the nail heads and the brackets where they attach to the molding. Scoring prevents huge sections of paint from chipping away from the wood molding as the drapery hardware is removed.
3. Press the tip of the putty knife beneath the nail head, and tap gently to break the paint away from the nail. Use the putty knife to gently pull up the nail head sufficiently so that it can be withdrawn using a pair of pliers or the claws of the hammer. To avoid hammer damage to the woodwork, place the shim about an inch from the nail head. As you pry back the hammer, the claws should rock onto the shim which will prevent dents in the molding.
4. Once all the nails have been removed, you can turn your attention to the brackets. Press the tip of the putty against the bracket, and tap gently to loosen from the wall. The bracket should pop off the wall easily, leaving behind just an outline.
These four steps are all it takes to remove old over-painted drapery hardware. With the brackets and nails gone, you can now restore that old fashioned vintage wood molding back to its original beauty.