In our home we have a few door knobs and/or back plates that need to be restored or replaced. If its possible to restore them, how would I go about doing it?
Try Renovator's Supply.
It looks like rust, and that means plating or paint.
If they have always been painted, you can polish to a smooth surfaces and paint them.
Re-plating is liable to be nearly as expensive as replacing them.
If its painted, you can heat them in hot water on the stove with a little bit of dish soap...the paint should come off easily then.
If its rust, then you can have them plated--ask if the finish on the knob can be matched, since it looks fine.
Renovators sells crap, trust me, I learned that lesson the hard way.
"Renovators sells crap, trust me, I learned that lesson the hard way."
Only if you shop only by price.
They still have the lowest price solid brass switch plates around.
House of Antique Hardware is another place to try if you don't like Renovator's. I've had great luck with their products - I've bought everything from window hardware to doorstops to reproduction gasoliers from them and they have all been great. Their prices are competitive, too. And don't forget about eBay, either!
Okay, Renovator's switch plates are okay--but every other item I ordered from them was of poor quality: repro light shades for turn of the century fixture--rims too thin to use (I am very careful tightening screws, so did NOT exert excess pressure, yet all four of them broke), a brass kitchen faucet pitted and stained within three years, and started leaking with my city water--none of these items were cheap--just shoddy.
The switch plate I ordered, was brass, and fit my needs since I could not find find a dual plate for a push-button light switch and electrical outlet. It probably lasts because it was three times the price of their regular dual plates.
If you purchase brass plates in low volume the price is high.
Purchase them by the stack and it is a real bargain.
Push button plates are a real specialty item, with high prices and limited types.
Did you expect "repro light shades for turn of the century fixture" to be exact copies?
Better keep looking at the antique stores then.
'Repro' items are rarely of the exact same manufacture as the old stuff.
Screw sizes have changed many times, along with overall manufacturing methods.
Even the Chinese have to pay wages.
You could also look at Crown City Hardware.
The back plate look pretty standard. You can get replacements at various locations online some of which are mentioned above. You can get them re-plated if the original plating is gone but good quality replacements is sometimes an easier solution