Here's something small that FINALLY got done just the other day. I had started to strip and clean-up the grates (these are the ones that go in the master bedroom) probably about a year ago, and it had not gone very well, so I set them aside for later.
I have been working on a few French comtoise clocks lately (see below), and as part of their refurbishing, the movement cages needed to be stripped and repainted. I decided that it would be a good time to finally finish the grates while I had the stripping chemicals out. Since there were mostly just a few stubborn paint spots and drips on the grates, I decided to slather them in stripper, cover them with cling wrap, and leave them to "stew" while I worked on the comtoise parts. This ended up working nicely, and the paint and grime came off nicely with a bit of scrubbing.
Here's the comtoise clock I'm currently restoring (more info on the clock blog):
Here is how the grates turned out. I am pretty sure they are cast iron, but they seem to have a copper plating on them. These were originally quite dirty, grimy, coated in paint, and I thought they were originally just rusty iron. They turned out looking quite beautiful, and the colour blends in nicely with the painted floor. I didn't photograph the second grate, but they look pretty much the same.
Here's an older "before" photo of how the grates looked before cleaning/stripping:
And here's an OLD original photo from when I first bought the house: