This fireplace grate is cast iron and so bloody heavy, I can only just lift it. Bought over thirty years ago (when I had a real fireplace in which to place it) it has spent most of the last twenty-five years outside as a flower pot and as a collected of spiders and dirt. Consequently it became rusty and unloved. But I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. Now however, my eldest daughter has moved into a new home which does have a fireplace. I have to say she was somewhat reluctant at my generous offer to lump the thing into her hands, but accepted. So I decided to get out the wire brush and scrub-up the poor neglected thing to make it more appealing to her.
And in the process, I found out two things. The first being that dull and tarnished brass (as in the finials) come up a treat as does freshly painted cast iron. The second being I enjoyed and found a real sense of joy at reviving such a grand thing. I had to soak the brass in a mixture of vinegar and salt for a while before polishing to remove the years of tarnish, but they came out glowing and really do set off the ironwork which now looks just as new. Splendid.