Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Beeswax on bronze


#1
   They mention using beeswax and other waxes to seal bronze. Would
it work on silver to prevent tarnishing? " 

Ooooh no, any grease on silver will make it tarnish quicker as I’d
assumed it would on bronze too, perhaps they meant on patinated
bronze to seal the colours.


#2

Yep, patinated bronze is what they were sealing.

This has got to be a pretty basic question for seasoned members out
there. What’s the best method to seal silver so that it doesn’t
tarnish once it’s left my hands. I can’t count on stores to put a
piece of chalk in their window displays… Is there something thats
"environmentally safe". (That’s why the beeswax appealed to me.)

Thanks, Cathy Icardo (in will-summer-ever-get-here Anjou, France)


#3

Hi there,

wax is a highly documented material used in creating a barrier
against corrosive elements. Wax should protect your object from water
and oxygen for a certain period of time. However (there’s always one
somewhere), it depends on the objects’ use and on the method of
application. If the object was to be handled, for example, then wax
is not a good barrier - it comes off on your fingers. For a museum
piece - look, don’t touch - wax is a good solution to the tarnishing
problem.

Wax, if not applied properly, can also accelerate corrosion. If the
piece is not de-greased first (in acetone, white spirits or denatured
alcohol) then pockets of grease underneath the wax form
micro-environments that are very condusive to corrosion.

So to answer you question, wax can protect but only if it’s an object
for looking at, not for touching/wearing.

Eileen


#4

Yep, patinated bronze is what they were sealing.

This has got to be a pretty basic question for seasoned members out
there. What’s the best method to seal silver so that it doesn’t
tarnish once it’s left my hands. I can’t count on stores to put a
piece of chalk in their window displays… Is there something thats
"environmentally safe". (That’s why the beeswax appealed to me.) I’ve
been a bit puzzled by the responses to this issue. I make a habit of
protecting silver and copper pieces–patina or not–with wax, with
excellent results, even if the piece is worn. I use paste wax, a blue
car wax for silver, and Johnsons paste wax (for furniture) on copper.
The car wax is more durable, but the blue shows in crevices on
copper. Maybe there’s a yellow or brown car wax, I haven’t checked.
On the whole, I prefer to protect silver from tarnish by “bringing up
the fine silver” (depletion plating, whatever you want to call it).
Sometimes I skip this step to help keep the cost of a lower-end piece
down. In any case, wax has seemed to work very well for me!
–Noel


#5

A lot of commercial jewelers rhodium plate their pieces so that they
don’t tarnish. I once did a complete set of cutlery - they can be
really boring to have to polish every time you want to use them - not
only that but you have to get all the polish off or you can taste it.

A rather vulgar family I knew once had all their Georgian silver
plated because they were scared their butler would throw in the towel
if they had to ask him to do it all again!