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Preserving bronze

hello! I have created an engraved medallion in bronze, finished with
14k green gold plating. This is a production piece for my customers
who may want an alternative to gold. The bronze oxidizes after a
fairly short time and gives a somewhat antiqued look but not a very
pleasing one…just a dull finish. Does anybody have an idea on how
i can preseve the polish and the 14kt gold plated finish? I remember
years ago a silversmithing teacher “waxing” his hollow pieces at the
end…something i am unfamiliar with, and would be interested in
some info about that process as well. xxx’s from NJ!

Emily Keifer Fine Jewels

If it’s polished bronze, you’re in for a struggle, raw bronze just
loves to oxidize. There’s a reason you don’t often see sculpture
without a patina. : ) Brass would be better if you’re trying for a
polished look that lasts.

The best finish is Carnuba wax, you can buy it at a decent hardware
store or even some auto parts places, try to get 100% Carnuba. Warm
the piece up however is convenient and wax it up. When cool, wipe
off the excess. It won’t last forever but it’s easy to reapply and
doesn’t remove any metal or change the underlying finish with

Don’t try to coat it with any type of sealer, polyurethane, varnish
etc. The bronze will still tarnish underneath and/or the coating
will get scratched and look lousy. You will then have to strip it
and refinish the metal before resealing.

The gold plating should be fine, it’s gold after all and won’t



I will have to disagree with you on your statement about “the best
finish is Carnuba wax”. Yes bronze does love to tarnish, but
Incralac or Syncralac are 2 sealers made specifically for the outdoor
protection of bronze and/or other copper bearing alloys. The
Incralac is a thinner based coating while the Syncralac is a water
based formula. I find that most sculptural users of the material like
the Incralac over the Syncralac. It is make in the USA and from the
company, one has to buy 5 gallons at a pop at about $100.00 a
gallon. It is also available in aerosol cans. Just do a Google search
for Incralac. Once the piece is sealed with the Incralac/ Syncralac,
most folks do wax the item to cut down the lacquer look. Incralac
gives about a 10 year or so outdoor life and is easy to strip and re
apply as needed

John Dach