Renovating a Cast Iron Fireplace


A well renovated cast iron fireplace can add style and elegance to any room. It is well worth the time and effort of doing a great job.

Here are some tips on how to go about the process.

Preparatory Works

For best and easiest results remove the fireplace from the wall. It is okay if this can’t be done but extra care should be taken to protect the surrounding area. Lay protective sheeting, such as an old curtain or plastic sheet, under the fireplace, as restoration work can get messy.

Cleaning the Surface

Strip off all existing paint and polish from the fireplace, and then clean it thoroughly. Make sure no residue of paint or dirt remains on the surface. The safest option is to use a water-based paint stripper, such as Biostrip 20, for this purpose. Use a paintbrush to apply the paint stripper, leave it in place for as long as possible or until the paint softens or bubbles then scrape off with a paint scraper or wash off with a damp cloth. This step may need repeating a couple of times if there is still paint left on the surface. Highly likely if there are ornate or difficult-to-reach areas, or if the fireplace has several layers of paint on it. A toothbrush may be required to reach difficult areas.

Wash the entire fireplace down thoroughly with warm soapy water.

Finally, smooth the surface down with fine wire wool, and treat any rusty areas with a product such as Rust Go Rust Remover. Wash down with fresh water and allow to dry thoroughly.

Painting or Polishing the Cast Iron Fireplace

Once the fireplace is completely stripped off all the old coatings, the two options are either to paint it or apply grate polish. There are many choices available, but do ensure they are designed for fireplaces and suitable for high temperatures. If painting, apply a coat of metal primer as the first layer, to prevent rusting.

Renovating a cast iron fireplace as a DIY project takes a lot of effort and can be very messy, but it is highly satisfying and rewarding.

Category: Household
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