In Britain we have some amazing examples of architecture in the form of our homes, including Victorian, Georgian and Medieval buildings. Some examples date back as late at the 11th century. Unfortunately more and more frequently these buildings are being destroyed to make way for unsightly modern buildings. I think most of us would agree that modern day buildings just don’t have the same charm as Victorian and Medieval houses. Rather than covering up or destroying original features restore them and keep buildings at their best in their original form.
Restoring Fire Places
In most Victorian examples you will find cast iron fireplaces. These may have been covered up by previous owners. Fireplaces make a great central focus to any room and Victorian fire places are so beautiful it’s a crime to cover them up. They are usually found in bedrooms and front rooms. Here’s how to restore a cast iron fire place-
- You will firstly need to strip back the fire place of any paint. This can sometimes be a difficult job as it may have been painted several times over the years. Use paint stripper and apply using a paint scraper and old paintbrush. Do this carefully and make sure you get into every corner. After the recommended time, wash off the stripper and dry the fireplace.
- Remove any rust from the fireplace using wire wool.
- Use a polish to finish. Your fire place should now be in its original state.
Restoring Original Radiators
Antique radiators are a great feature for any traditional home, but why purchase expensive copies if you have originals already in your home? You may need to call in a professional to service the radiator and ensure it is in good working order. Similar to restoring a fire place chances are over the years your antique radiator has probably been painted several times.
- Turn off the radiator the day before restoring it to ensure it is completely cool
- Thoroughly rub the radiator down with sand paper removing any dust afterwards.
- This will reveal the original metal; if you intend to paint it use an anti rust cover first.
- When painting be careful not to paint over any valves so as not to seal them.
- Wait a few days before turning the radiator back on so the paint can dry.
Old radiators are not always the most efficient. Consider updating your antique radiator by fitting a thermostatic radiator valve. You can buy antique style versions so as to ensure it fits in well with the style of your radiator.
Eilidh MacRae is writing on behalf of West Radiators and would reccomend them as suppliers of thermostatic radiator valves.