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.