Metal sheets made of copper, bronze, and brass have a lot of uses at home. They make wonderful decorative pieces and also have some functional uses. Plus, they are wonderful to look at, especially with their beautiful luster. Bronze sheets are very popular because of its color, but the problem is the weathering that causes even the most beautiful of sheets to become green or blue. Although some people might find the rustic change of color a part of the natural aging process, most would prefer the shine and gleam of a well-polished bronze metal sheet.
All about the Patina
How can you delay tarnish and oxidation? Easy; the answer is patina. This is a film that is usually found on metals, which can either form through natural weathering or as an added chemical layer. The patina gives the bronze and other metal sheets a nice and predictable appearance. However, relying on natural patina may result in an even coating. This is why artificial chemical treatment is preferred.
Here are easy steps to follow to create your own chemical patina at home. After a few tries and practices you will be able to coat the sheets perfectly and evenly:
- Safety First! – Be careful when creating your own patina because you will handle harsh and toxic chemicals. Always protect your hands with gloves and eyes with goggles. Also use a smock to protect your body from any splashes. Set up a work area that is well ventilated and gives you the freedom to move about.
- Be Precise – Get clean measuring containers and mixing utensils to improve the end results.
- Gather the Materials and Follow Instructions – Look up all the materials you need to create a patina. There will be different requirements needed depending on the type of metal you are working on. Be sure to follow all the tips in detail to avoid causing damage on the sheet metals.
- Cleaning the Surface – It is important to remove all the oils and effects of oxidation before applying the chemical patina. If not, a chemical reaction may occur that can damage the sheets. The most common source of oil is from your hands, so always wear gloves when putting patina on metal sheets. It is for your safety and the protection of the bronze metal sheets.
What to Expect as Results
You cannot expect to have the same results all the time. There are certain variable that will affect the outcome. The most common are: metal composition, patina formula, purity of chemicals and water, and even the thoroughness of washing the metal. Don’t be disappointed if the end results will vary. This is to be expected, especially when it is your first time putting patina on metal sheets.
Other Metal Sheet Cleaning Tips
Aside from adding a layer of patina on the sheets, there are also other ways to help prevent surface damage and oxidation. Here’s what you can do:
- Polishing cloths are handy, but a clean white cotton shirt cut into small squares will do the job.
- Greenish patina will take a lot of time and elbow grease to remove. Be patient and stick to it, you will eventually revive the shine and gleam of that old bronze metal sheet.
- Polishing bronze too much can actually cause a lot of surface damage. Try to clean and polish regularly, but not frequently.
- Adding a layer of wax white the piece is still warm seals it in perfect. A second coating will add even more protection.
- Be very careful with commercial bronze polishers; they can be very corrosive and do a lot of damage.
- Always dry bronze pieces thoroughly. Although bronze in naturally moisture-resistant, the formation of patina will be affected when allowed to air-dry while wet.
Consider these tips next time you spot a tarnished bronze metal sheet at home. Restoring it to its former shining glory isn’t too complicated. You just need to put in a bit of extra effort.
How to Clean Bronze, HowToCleanStuff.net
Creating Patinas. On Brass, Bronze and Copper, ScienceCompany.com