That slightly cruddy piston at the top can be polished nicely. You only need the cylinder surface to be smooth. The cruddy part is at the brake shoes - a little rust preventer wouldn't hurt if you keep it off the seal surface.
I was referring to the photo of the piston, and meant the cylindrical surface - the OD of the piston as you said - needed to be smooth. Poor choice of words on my part. Your description was exactly what I meant.
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