Bronze and bronzing – not all that glitters is gold
Bronze is used when a surface is to be given a metallic sheen, but gilding with genuine gold leaf or metal leaf is not an option for cost reasons. However, this alloy made from copper and zinc is not weather-resistant. Through careful processing oxidation can be delayed, however, the process cannot be stopped altogether.
In order to be able to process bronze, an oily or aqueous binding agent. The acid-free nature of these so-called bronze tinctures is a basic prerequisite, as the bronze instantly looses colour and sheen as a result of oxidation.
These tinctures should have as low a viscosity as possible, since a bronze tincture that is too thick impairs the sheen of the bronze.
There are various options for the self-manufacture of oily or aqueous bronze tinctures, which are tailored specifically to the planned bronzing work.
- Transparent, acid-free lacquers, which can be thinned with white spirit
- Gum arabic dissolved in water
- Gelatine solution with a few drops of methylated spirit and added sugar water
Bronzing with a lacquer coating means that the direct application of bronze onto an amalgamated surface enables a sealed, shiny and metallic surface. However, this must be continuously resealed with an acid-free lacquer.
Tip: Removing old coats of bronze is very labour-intensive and is not gentle on the substrate. Before processing bronze, the intended use must first be carefully considered. Bear in mind that old gilding can be quickly “restored” with a coat of bronze, however the substrate will be irreparably damaged with regard to future use.