Cast Iron Fireplace Surrounds
Cast iron fire surrounds are often considered ‘period’ features and, considering their popularity during the Victorian Era (1837-1901) and Edwarian Era (1901-1910), that’s not altogether surprising. Cast iron fire surrounds became progressively ornamental over the years, often including tiled inlays, before going out of fashion in the 1920s and 1930s. Nevertheless, the cast iron fireplace is once again in vogue as a traditional, but nonetheless striking, focal point in homes of all ages.
Cast iron is hard, but brittle, metal with a relatively low melting point, which can easily be liquefied and moulded, or ‘cast’, into different shapes. As such, it is the perfect material for creating the ornate detail on the sides and top of a typical cast iron fireplace. Restoring a cast iron fire surround typically involves painstakingly removing one or more layers of paint with a chemical paint stripper, sanding with steel wool to remove paint residue and rust and polishing with grate polish. The finished product, however, is very much worth waiting for.