How To Refinish A Cast Bronze Plaque

Written by on June 30, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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Flowers plaque

As we all know the Bronze Age was very successful for a reason.

Back then, people used this metal for more practical reasons. However, these days we often see bronze being used more for its decorative look.

When it’s in tip-top condition this metal can add a touch of class to any indoor or, even outdoor décor but it does need to be looked after.

If it’s not cared for properly, it will start to fall foul of the elements and become dull looking and fairly unattractive. The reason for this is the metal itself will start to oxidize.

But, help is at hand! Below you will find a useful guide on how to refinish a cast bronze plaque so it looks just like new.

Preparation

You will need a soft and dry bristled brush (usually a standard scrubbing brush will do). Brush any loose dirt or other debris from the plaque. If you have any grooves such as an engraving, use some skewers to remove any ingrained dirt.

You must also make sure you where gloves not just to protect your hands but to protect the plaque as well. Oils from your hands can cause further oxidisation.

Take careful note of what your bronze plaque is mounted on. This is usually wood or stone and, should be washed thoroughly with water so it won’t absorb the finishing substances you use.

Cleaning Your Bronze Plaque

This is where you will need a specialist detergent called “non-ionic”. Follow the directions you’re given or use 1 tsp per gallon of water.

Using your brush or scrubbing sponge, gently work away at your plaque so all the oxidation is removed. When you’re finished, rinse it thoroughly and leave it to dry completely.

Once dry, you will need some aluminium foil or tape to fit between the gaps of your plaque and its mount. This will protect it from the waxing stage. You MUST where rubber gloves and a face mask in order to stay safe when waxing your Bronze plaque.

If you intend to use a low or non-solvent wax it’s a good idea to add an equal part of mineral spirits or petroleum to create a slightly “soupier” consistency. Stir the solution through and using a clean soft cloth to apply the wax over your plaque. Leave this to dry for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Using another dry and clean cloth, buff your plaque using plenty of elbow grease until you reach the desired lustrous finish your bronze plaque once had.

You can also finish buffing by using a brush designed for shoe-shining. If needed, you can apply a second coating of wax and repeat the steps above.

A Final Few Words

You should make sure you undertake this process at least once a year so your bronze plaque doesn’t become affected by the elements.Even if your plaque doesn’t look particularly weathered, you should still refinish it so it’s well protected all the time.

There are of course, professionals out there that can do this for you but, it will cost you a bit more money and there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have restored your plaque to it’s former glory.

Featured images:

Wards of Bristol produce a large array of Bronze Cast Plaques

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