To restore an antique cast iron fireplace thoroughly you should first dismantle the fireplace. First remove the damper/vent plate and ash pan cover, then the mantle shelf taking care not to break the bolts; a blow torch can help but don’t allow the heat to touch the fireplace shelf as this could crack it.
Remove the front bars which could be hook on, slide in or possibly bolt on, if the later these may come loose when you remove the fire back; do this using the same process as with the fireplace shelf, being careful not to drop the clay fire brick and grate which are held in by the fire back.
Check all bolts are in good condition, re-tap or replace any that aren’t. If the clay fire brick is broken this needs replacing with a new clay one; making a cement one and moulding one in place won’t do as it will not be able to expand and contract with the fire and could result in damage to the cast iron back.
Clean the cast iron fireplace; we recommend powder blasting as this removes all the old paint and rust completely which paint stripper doesn’t, this also provides a key for the paint and traditional grate polish.
The next and possibly one of the most important is to coat the rear of the cast iron fireplace and any parts with oxide paint; most restorers don’t bother with this in order to cut costs but we believe there is no point in spending hours restoring the front of your antique fireplace only to let it rust through from the gassy corrosive chimney behind.
Now for the fun bit… re-assemble the fireplace; this should be easy as everything should be nice and clean.
Apply a traditional grate polish to your antique fireplace; this can be either black or graphite finish. This can be applied with a brush and then wiped over with a lint free cloth to avoid brush marks. After the grate polish is dry buff with a soft brush.
Finished…. your antique cast iron fireplace is good as new and ready for another 100+ years.
To much hard work? we can restore your antique fireplace for you, email photos for a quotation or alternatively view our huge selection of fully restored Antique cast iron bedroom fireplaces at