When we moved into this house, three of the rooms had original Edwardian cast iron fireplaces. They were all covered in many layers of thick black gloss paint; in some cases it was so thick it obscured some of the details.

After much googling I found a company which sell a special paint stripper called Kling Strip that soon got rid of all the paint but left the fireplace covered in a layer of rust.

I recently got a set of wire brushes which fit in my drill, a couple of hours working away at the rust and we have a nice, shiny, bare cast iron fireplace. A polish with WD40 every so often should keep it looking that way. 🙂