A few years ago I came to own a solid iron and brass bed. It was covered in years and years worth of paint. Rather than sandblasting it, I went unconventional. I used a product called citri-strip paint stripper. It ate through many of the layers of paint, and could easily be removed with some scrubbing, steel wool etc. Well that was working, but it was work. I went to the hardware store and I bought these wire brush attachments that you can use in your drill. It took the paint, rust, etc right off. It left a wonderful pure iron, no scratches. My original plan was to strip it down and give it a nice new glossy coat of white paint but the look of the iron was so beautiful, I threw on a couple of coats of sealer, and received many many compliments. Hope that helps! Good luck.