Bronze sheets and similar pieces are metal alloys that are manufactured specifically to last for decades with minimal care and maintenance. For that reason, many collectors value high-quality outdoor bronze fittings and sculptures. The issue with bronze, however, is that it is still susceptible to weathering and tarnishing after years of constant exposure. As any collector should know, the key to preserving the beauty and value of bronze pieces is through proper cleaning and waxing.
Take note that proceeding with the waxing of bronze metal sheets without doing further research can do more harm than good. Here’s a quick guide all about the basics of bronze waxing:
Step 1: Correct Bronze Cleaning
Before attempting to wax bronze pieces, learning how to clean them is the first step. There are different ways to clean the surface, but the easiest, cheapest, and most effective is by using warm water with soap. Use the soapy water some gentle scrubbing and clean the pieces until the desired shine and appearance is achieved.
Step 2: Drying the Pieces
Before proceeding with this next step, be sure to thoroughly dry the bronze metal sheet or sculpture. Try patting down the pieces with a clean soft cloth to reach small cracks and crevices where water can gather. If water is left on the bronze fittings the wax will trap the liquid inside and this will cause a lot of damage.
Step 3: Proper Waxing Techniques
Choose a preferred brand of bronze wax. Read up on the list of chemicals that are corrosive to bronze and check the ingredients before purchasing. This will save you a lot of trouble and prevent damage. Next, get your thoroughly dried pieces, a clean cloth, or a brand new soft brush. Use the cloth or brush to apply a layer of wax, closely following the instructions provided by the wax manufacturer. Let the wax dry for about 30 minutes.
Step 4: Buffing and Reapplication (If Necessary)
After the wax has dried a soft cloth or a shoe brush can be used to buff the pieces until they shine and gleam. It is also suggested to reapply 2-5 coats of wax on outdoor bronze pieces for extra protection.
Step 5: Re-Waxing
Most bronze wax brands only need reapplication after a few months. Each brand will provide instructions on how the re-application process goes. Always read these instructions before re-waxing any bronze pieces.
A Bit of Elbow Grease Goes a Long Way
With the right care and enough effort, even really old and severely tarnished bronze metal sheets can regain their shine. This is something all collectors or even just homeowners who value their bronze fittings should learn to do for the sake of preservation.
Cleaning and Maintaining Outdoor Bronze Statues, LargeArt.com
How to Preserve Bronze with Wax, HowToCleanStuff.net