Care of Solid Bronze Hardware

in Hinge Information

Bronze is a “Living Finish”

Bronze is an old world material that does not deteriorate in coastal or other regions. The bronze finish, however, is a “living” finish. This means that it changes over time in a way that most people find desirable. When bronze is exposed to air it will tarnish quickly and turn brown. When bronze is exposed to exterior elements it will turn green. This condition is known as “patina”. This is also considered desirable by most people. These conditions are not considered “defects” but are part of the natural beauty of bronze.
Care for Bronze Hardware
Never use spray or liquid furniture polishes to clean your bronze hardware. These polishes may contain oils which could damage the original patina finish.

In climates with higher humidity, or if you live where there is a higher concentration of airborne pollutants, cleaning and waxing may be needed twice a year.

Applying Wax

All bronze darkens with age, however waxing may slow the process of oxidation.
To apply the wax, you need two – one to two inch paint brushes that will be used only for cleaning your bronze. Do not use brushes that you have used for other purposes as chemicals may remain in the bristles and if transferred to the patina finish, may cause permanent discoloration.

Start by applying a protective circle of tape around the metal ferrules that hold the bristles in the brushes you are using. This will help prevent scratching of the surface when applying the wax and when dusting.
Wipe your bronze free of any dust and fingerprints using a clean, dry, cotton cloth. Use one of the brushes to remove dust from small crevasses or hard to reach places.
Use “Renaissance” wax, or other “microcrystalline” waxes in most cases, because it is inert and will not yellow over time. Apply to the second brush, use three or four, back and forth, sweeping strokes. Do not dab your brush in the wax. This could cause an abundance of wax to be applied to the bronze that could actually harm the patina surface. Dab your brush on the lid of the wax can to remove any excess wax. Lightly apply a super thin coat of wax to the surface of the bronze using gentle sweeping motions. Apply more wax to the brush as described, working it down into crevices.
Caution – Using too much wax may remove previous layers of wax. It is very important not to apply too much wax or work it into the surface to vigorously. Cover the entire surface with wax and let it dry according to the directions on the container.

Separate Brushes

Keep your brushes separately in labeled bags, free from other contaminants, for future use. Using a clean, dry, cotton cloth, gently rub in a circular motion, the dried wax from the bronze surface until you achieve the desired shine. To achieve a dull surface, do not rub the surface after waxing.
To achieve a better protective coating, you may want to re-apply a second coat using the same technique.

Outdoor Bronze Hardware
Outdoor bronzes require a maintenance program which keeps their surfaces clean and waxed on a regular basis.

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