Bad start to fixing leaky faucet project, please help!

Hello, The hot water faucet in our bathroom sink is dripping. This, of course, is one of those small repairs that is minor enough to render calling the plumber extravagant and guilt-inducing, yet potentially involved enough to cause (me, a home repair klutz) significant stomach-churning.
The first step, as I understand it, is to remove the decorative cap that covers the screw that I have to remove to get at the bad washer. I have read on several "do it yourself" sites that I should take a putty knife (too thick, it seems) or another small knife (covered with tape to prevent scratching) and pry off this decorative cap. Well, this has proven very difficult! The cap is very, very firmly seated, and so far I can't get it to budge. I can't even really get a knife blade under the cap more than a partial millimeter.
Is there a trick to this? I suspect, actually, that this "faux brass" faucet hardware is really cheap and of poor quality. The people who owned the house before we bought it were "get rich quick" types who did a number of "home improvements" that looked ok from the outside but were really cheaply and badly done. We've been undoing the damage for ten years.
Enough complaining: any suggestions regarding getting the darned cap off the faucet screw? It seems to be attached really, really firmly
Thanks,
Doug
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Doug Greenberg wrote:

which can make them hard to get out. If it is a newer faucet, there is a very, very good chance that there are NO washers at all.
You might do well to look for a mfr name on it or go to BigBox and look for one like it (just to identify) before tearing into it.
Jim
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Thanks for the replies to date. This faucet has no name on it to identify it, and it is not currently stocked by Home Depot, apparently. This is not surprising, as it's likely 15 years old or more.
I know I can't post photos to a newsgroup, but is there anyone out there who might from an emailed low-res digital photo be able to tell me something about this faucet hardware? I'm a much better photographer than I am a plumber.
Doug
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If you are sure it is metal you might spray around the crack with a penetrating type oil. If it is plastic a well soaked paper towel kept wet for a few hours might help.
I have never used anything as blunt as a putty knife. I have used a dulled utility knife blade, a very small flat screw driver, my fingernail, etc. The good news is that once you get it up a little it will come on out. Also unless it is the cheapest of faucets you can buy a replacement cap if you damage the appearance too much.
As Speedy Jim pointed out, it may not have washers. It will have some replaceable part. If you can ID it someone in this group should know about it.
Colbyt
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I sent you a direct reply. You can also figure out my email address from this post.
Colbyt
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