How to restore a lock

These lovely old locks are well worth the effort of restoring. They are very well made and attractive.![](upload://ChKzHIVn4ZLQrazfKlsZAlpUr2.jpg)

Remove the lock taking care not to lose anything, I even kept the screws as they have nice heads.

Caustic soda is dangerous stuff, you'll need a full complement of safety gear, and don't splash it about!

Add the caustic soda to the water not the other way round.![](upload://lSJFK4iJCRnuoZMA7f6dnJJDcwt.jpg)

Give it a good stir until the crystals have disolved.![](upload://ubH3jBMB4Wu4hTGCpNTxwePtA8S.jpg)

Please your bits and pieces carefully in the solution, don't drop it in there.

Depending on the thickness of the old coats of paint, this process could take just a few hours. I left this one soaking overnight.

Remove everything and place it in a clean container ready for rinsing.

Use plenty of clean water.

It will now be a fairly easy task to remove the paint using a wire brush. Wear eye protection for this bit too.

Isn't that lovely?!

Will the caustic soda remove rust inside as well?


The lock looks great. Is it painted or laquered on the finished picture?

Looks great well done

Nice, I have one and will do as you did...thanks...

Very nice. Shame we don't have any.

Hats off to Higginson. Good work, that bricoleur. I imagine you flushed the caustic soda into your septic tank. Not!!! snicker, snicker. Way to go, dude.

wow James, hadn’t seen the thread B4, superb, the lock is wonderful, and the shot spot on!

Fantastic job James. All modern here I'm afraid :(

Thanks, I am going to try this

Hi Louise,

I just rinse it down the drain with plenty of clean water to dilute it. It is essentially what you would buy as drain cleaner/unblocker anyway. If you don't want to do that, bottle it up and take it to your local tip, they should be able to handle it.

This is great. I have some locks like these that I have been meaning to restore but did not know how. Just one question, how do you dispose of the used caustic soda solution?

Gosh, what a clever boy your are James! Super job.

Sounds lovely Maria, perhaps you can upload a tutorial for us?

It's available in all the DIY sheds around here Peter. I fancy making soap too from it, never got round to that though, not yet anyway.

Great blow by blow description and photos, much appreciated James, where did you buy the Soude Caustique as I can never find the strong stuff needed for this type of work?

Will do :)

Not surprised, best of luck and let us all know if you hear anything!!

Thanks Maria, we have been approached by a production company, nothing has come of it as yet though.

You should be on TV with all this DIY experience....looks excellent!!