One of the great benefits of buying a cast iron fireplace from a reclamation yard is the great saving you can make on buying new. The downside it may require some work to restore it to its former glory. Fortunately, the process involved in cleaning up iron is actually quite straightforward and can be rewarding when you see the final results of your efforts.
The condition of reclaimed cast iron fireplaces will of course vary. Some may be well preserved while others may require paint to be stripped off before tackling any rust.
The application of a chemical paint stripper is usually the best way to remove old paint. Make sure the room is well-ventilated because fumes from paint stripper are toxic. The remaining paint can then be stripped off using a wood or plastic scraper so as not to scratch the surface of the iron. You can then use a stiff brush to remove any stubborn bits of paint before applying some white spirit.
Once this is done it is then time to start removing rust using wire wool or a wire brush which will be highly effective at cleaning up your fireplace. If you prefer not to have to do the task yourself you could take the fireplace to a specialist to have the cast iron cleaned up for you.
When all the cleaning has been completed, you will then have the pleasure of finishing off the restoration work. Some people opt for paint but a cast iron fireplace tends to look better if it is simply polished up. There will be plenty of products available to clean up your iron to transform it into pristine condition.