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How to "repair" a fireplace poker... Help, please?

 
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Does anyone have tips for making a black fire place poker "like new?"  I found an old one that's perfect to give to a friend of mine for Christmas.  It's overall in great shape but it has some rust and white spots since it's been sitting.  Any ideas for cleaning it up and making it shine?  (Without coating it in something that will burst into flames when he uses it?  I tried steel wool and it doesn't seem to be making any difference.
 
Rocket Scientist
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Hi Sonja;     I would suggest a wire wheel either on a drill or a bench mount.
If you don't have access to those, then use sand paper to smooth it up.
And last of all you want a spray can of high heat black paint. Automotive header paint 2000F . Sold at walmart / home depot / lowes and online.
It will look great when he gets it.  It will not burst into flames.  
Yes as soon as he uses it a few times the far end will discolor.  
But it is a fire poker you would expect the hooked end to be white.
 
Sonja Draven
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Thank you so much, Thomas!

I might have the wheel somewhere but I KNOW I have sand paper. And I'll look for the paint too. Agreed on the ultimate condition it will be in. I just want it to be pretty until he uses it. :)
 
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Vinegar does a great job on removing surface rust.
 
Sonja Draven
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Robert Ray wrote:Vinegar does a great job on removing surface rust.


Thanks, Robert! I have that too!
 
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How rusty? Electrolysis, followed by wire wool?
 
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Soaking it in some soda pop should eat away the rust too.  I understand my grandfather used to use cheap beer as a rust remover as well.  Still if I was doing the clean up job I'd probably do what Thomas suggested.  The wire wheel will likely give the most consistent looking surface, and thus be the most visually satisfying.  However, if you pay attention to the direction of your sanding and keep it consistent that would look good too.  If you happen to have a sand blaster those are nice.  
 
Sonja Draven
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Don't have a sand blaster. But I worked on it with sand paper and then vinegar and I think it looks kind of neat now with the black handle that sort of shifts into some salt and pepper. So I'm debating on the paint. I'm going to look at it in full light tomorrow (super gray day today so a bit hard to be sure).

It wasn't too rusty, thankfully.  Definitely could have been harder to salvage.

AND you guys are awesome. Thanks for helping me save this in time for Christmas.
 
Sonja Draven
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I bought paint but it said it needs warmer weather to paint and curing in the oven (which makes me nervous to do when I can't open the windows for fresh air... It's cold.). So I just touched it up a bit more with sandpaper and will give as is. If he actually likes and uses it, I'll steal it back this summer and paint it.

Here are pics. It's a little more silver at the end than the pic shows.
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20201221_203142.jpg
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In my my experience the high temp automotive sprays just aren't that durable. Rustoleum stove paint is decent, but who wants to snell that? IMO the best finish would be heat with boiled linseed oil wipe, similar to seasoning a cast iron skillet with veg oil. A hard corrosion resistant black is achievable if done correctly. I wish I could go into more detail but an internet search would provide correct temperatures and such.
 
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