Removing paint from metal surfaces is a task tackled many different ways depending on the type of metal and paint. Old ironwork and ornate pieces require more finesse and elbow grease than a simple flat, easy-to-access pieces. The decision to use chemical strippers, sandpaper or wire brushes is entirely up to the person undertaking the project.
Use a wire brush to remove any more difficult areas of rust. Use a firm back and forth action to strip away stubborn areas of loose debris and dirt.
Sandblast away paint from metal using a sandblaster if needed. These machines rent by the day, yet are available for sale at home improvement or hardware stores. Blowing sand onto the metal piece under great pressure strips all of the unwanted paint from the metal work.