How to refinish cast iron and cast bronze fireplace surround
A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 20192001
Q. I recently came across your fascinating home page, finishing.com, and have a question that I am hoping you can answer. We would like to refinish the fireplace surround shown in the attached pictures.
It is cast-iron, made in the late 1800's. As you can see, it has a slight bronze finish on it already, which may be some sort of overlay, and is in poor condition. Overall, the piece measures 30"x20". We would like it to have a more rich bronze look to it, and possibly an overlying clear coat that can resist heat.
- Chicago, Illinois
A. Hi Adam,
If you want to do it yourself, let me know. If you can't find a job shop in the finishing.com's directory that will do it, let me know. Have fun and good luck.
G. J. Nikolas & Co., Inc.
A. Hello. Last year I stripped paint from and refinished a cast iron fireplace and grille with a bronze finish. After stripping the paint, I used a very fine 0000 steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] to clean residue (the bronze is fragile) and then used dentil picks to clean the nooks and crannies. A good metal polish (I used Maas metal polish [paid link to product info at Amazon] ) really cleaned the bronze and when polished it looked great. Mine was made by Sharp & Sons in 1890. Like many I've seen with bronze accents, they are applied in "patches" and are circular in shape. I wouldn't try to do anything further than remove any rust or paint and let it's natural finish shine through. I used a clear spray-on sealer from Rustoleum. They make products specifically for grills, ovens, stoves, etc. that are heat resistant. It make take a few trips to find a store that carries what you need. Good luck.Aimee Hamby
- Neosho, Missouri
Problem refinishing cast iron fireplace surroundOctober 19, 2019
Q. I'm stripping and polishing a cast iron fireplace surround from the late 1800's in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Some of the underlying finish is irregular, shiny and brown compared to the rest. Is it a variation in the cast iron itself? No amount of grinding with a drill-mounted wire brush seems to change it at all. Thanks for your help.
DIY restorer - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada