The wood effect paint you have just removed may well have been the original
finish. The two most common forms of finish to victorian slate fire
surrounds was wood grain or marble effect. If you want to leave the slate
surround bare use fine steel wool to prepare the surface and finish with
linseed oil. Apply oil by paintbrush and buff with a lint free cloth.
If you want to resurrect a traditional finish there are many proffesionals
out there that can do wood grain and marble paint effects.
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