Care and cleaning of a fake-brass (steel) fireplace enclosure/screen (rust & paint spots)

I purchased a used enclosure for the front of my fireplace today. The enclosure looks sort of like a wide metal picture frame that fits snugly over the front opening of my brick fireplace. Within the frame are two pairs of bi-fold glass doors. Behind the doors is a movable metal screen that acts like a curtain to contain flying embers.

Now, while the enclosure is essentially sound, it has certainly seen better days. The finish is brushed brass-colored, but the thing is really made of steel. I’m guessing the base metal is plated with a thin layer of brass (or some other yellow metalic coating) followed by a layer of clear lacquer.

Here’s the problem. There are numerous rust, abrasion, and paint spots on the frame that I’d like to clean/remove/minimize. I’ve never dealt with a wacky fake-brass finish like this before, and I’m looking for advice and direction from you fellow Dopers.

Can I use steel wool, Scotchbrite, or paint remover on the finish? If not, what?

Also, let’s say I wanted to lose the brass look entirely and paint the thing with (heat-resistant) paint. How would I prep the surface?

I’m open to all suggestions and ideas, so fire away, all you handyman Dopers. Thanks all, in advance.

Morning bump!

My dad just up and painted his with black heat-resistant paint. No prep, just went for it.