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Restore Your Antique And Old Locks


A lot of us still use old locks and that’s all and well. So why would someone replace a lock that is still in working order? They usually have their own vibe, unique aesthetic, which modern locks can only be jealous of. However, nothing can last forever, especially the stuff we use daily. Sometimes, using an old lock may mean walking on a wire. You never can tell when something might go wrong. Even if your antique or old-fashioned locks keep serving you faithfully, they can use some help to last even longer. Sure Lock & Key prepared some useful tips that will help you enjoy your antique locks as long as possible. Let’s dive in!

Restore The Antique Lock Yourself


Antique locks will maintain the charm of your home. Despite their great looks, they have questionable security, especially if they havn”t had continuous proper care. That’s why burglars notice them. If you need to restore an antique or old lock to its original state, a locksmith who is an expert in this specialized area will be able to help. Call Sure Lock & Key, and our highly experienced locksmiths will be happy to help you with your lock.
Hardware made decades ago may have jammed or they may have worn-out components. That’s the most common trouble old lock owners experience. If the lock appears to look good outside but isn’t working correctly, rust could be the problem. So if you are planning to dismantle something, make sure you know how to put it back together first.
However, if you do decide to restore your antique lock by yourself, Sure Lock & Key is more than glad to provide you with 15 steps that will help you do it. Use them for making some repairs.
  • Remove the knob. The set screw is located at the base of the knob. To release the knob’s screw, use a screwdriver. Remove the knob from the spindle by turning it slightly. A spindle is a small rod that runs from one knob to the next.
  • Remove this spindle. Then, pull the handle from the front of the door and free the spindle from the hole.
antique double doors
  • Clean the lock face. Score the gap between the locking mechanism and the door with a knife or blade. This will help free the lock and remove paint that may have peeled off the wood when the lock is removed.
  • Remove the lock case by unscrewing two screws in the lock face.
  • Open the lock case. When unscrewing the lock case, be as careful as possible because some pieces may spring out.
  • Take a picture of the lock mechanism before doing anything. Because it’s an old lock, it may be a one-of-a-kind piece, and you might not be able to find a scheme to reassemble it.
  • Take apart the lock’s components. Press the deadbolt’s gate up to the top of the lock. The next step is to release the tension in the spring until the gate can be removed from the pin.
  • Clean the lock face. Steel wool can be used to clean paint from the lock face.
  • Restore the lock case and components. All of the parts should be cleaned and sprayed with penetrating oil.
  • Polish the thumb latch. Also, polish each component with steel wool.
  • Assemble the lock.
  • Replace the latch spring. It is preferable to replace the latch spring, to keep the lock working securely. Sure Lock & Key locksmiths can assist you in finding the right one.
  • Close the lock case. Using a screwdriver, hold the lock’s components in place. After you release the screwdriver, the latch should release.
  • Before reinstalling the lock, make sure it works properly.
  • Reinstall the lock. If the lock case doesn’t slide easily, you can use a rubber mallet.
antique double doors

Tips On Restoring Antique Finish On Door Locks


It’s undeniable, antique locks add charm to your interior. That’s why looks mean a lot in this particular case. Below you will find how to restore the finish on your locks.
Anything that isn’t adequately cleaned won’t last long. That’s why it’s important to clean up to remove grime. To clean, use a soft cloth and a household cleaner. You can also use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-get-at places.
Remove the door hardware and place it in a pot with some water. Add some dishwashing soap to make the water slippery and cover it. Turn the cooker on low for eight hours or overnight. You can remove the paint with toothbrushes or things that won’t scratch the finish. Soak the pieces where there is resistant paint again.
Take a soft cloth dipped in brass polish to shine it if you need to polish it. If the shine isn’t enough, polish the recesses using a toothbrush. A pinch of baking soda will help to rub away the dark pitting. After that, rub a little paste wax onto your lock and polish to a shine.
If your locks are rusty, rub them with household oil. Then remove the oil and dry the lock properly. Add metal primer and spray or brush on a durable enamel topcoat. Let it dry. Use household oil to lubricate the moving parts.
Pour ½ clear household ammonia into a pot to produce a new antique finish. After that, put the cleaned brass lock and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Check it every hour and remove the hardware when you see the color you are looking for. Take steel wool to clean and then polish it. Remember to work outside or in a well-ventilated area.

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Popular Questions


It is difficult to answer the question “how long will it take or what is the cost of repairing or restoring an antique or old lock”. Each job is unique, so it is important to understand that it may take a day or several weeks so realistically the price would be quite difficult to calculate without reviewing the lock.
One more popular question “Can a locksmith make an antique key for an old lock?”. The answer is generally yes depending on the experience of the Locksmith. However, even though it is most challenging a professional locksmith will be able to cut an antique key for your lock.
antique keys in a lock
antique keys in a lock

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