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Care of Finishes

Metals - when exposed to oxygen and water - will oxidise. This is a fact of life, as any chemistry student will know. Air is 20% oxygen and 1% water vapour so there is no escaping this even in a dry spell. The only unknown factor is time. Fortunately, copper based alloys (like brass and bronze) do not rust like steel and iron. Instead, the surface oxidises to form a natural patina which protects the metal against corrosion.

Therefore, metals - particularly those situated outside - need care. You wouldn't buy a car and never inflate the tyres or change the oil - it would soon become unusable. Architectural ironmongery should be treated with the same respect.

brass 1

BRASS: products listed as this are made from solid brass that is either sand cast, die cast or pressed. These products are all, unless stated otherwise, polished and have a protective acrylic lacquer coating which prolongs the life of the finish and reduces the need for regular polishing.

Lacquered brass products should only be cleaned with a damp cloth and then buffed with a wax polish to provide an extra layer of protection. Under no circumstances should metal cleaning polish be used as this will destroy the lacquer. Over time, however, the lacquer will start to deteriorate. When this happens it needs to be completely removed with a lacquer or paint stripper such as Nitromors. After this, the brass will need to be polished regularly with a metal polish such as Peek.

Unlacquered brass products will need to be regularly polished from the time of purchase.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE BRASS CARE GUIDE

STAINLESS BRASS (P.V.D.): this a relatively new finish which looks like brass but is both scratch and weather resistant. This removes the need for polishing and is particularly suitable for areas subject to excess weathering - e.g. coastal areas, areas of high pollution etc. Many of these products come with an extended guarantee.

Stainless brass products only require an occasional wipe clean with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt.

ANTIQUE BRASS: this is a chemical finish applied to brass to give an aged look.

Antique brass products only require an occasional wipe clean with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt.

chrome

CHROME: this is a highly polished mirror-like metal plated finish applied to brass (usually) or zinc alloy products. This plating is generally very durable.

Chrome plated products should only be cleaned with a damp cloth and then buffed with a wax or specialist metal polish to provide an extra layer of protection. Care should be taken not to scratch the finish.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE CHROME CARE GUIDE

satin chrome

SATIN CHROME: this is a matt metal plated finish applied to brass (usually) or zinc alloy products. This plating is generally very durable.

Satin chrome plated products should only be cleaned with a damp cloth and then buffed with a wax or specialist metal polish to provide an extra layer of protection.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE SATIN CHROME CARE GUIDE

brushed nickel

BRUSHED NICKEL: this is a brushed metal plated finish applied to brass (usually) or zinc alloy products, similar to satin chrome but with a slight grain to it. It is also a slightly darker shade of grey than satin chrome, more similar to stainless steel. This plating is generally very durable.

MATT NICKEL: as brushed nickel but with a matt rather than brushed finish.

Nickel plated products should only be cleaned with a damp cloth and then buffed with a wax or specialist metal polish to provide an extra layer of protection.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE NICKEL CARE GUIDE

STAINLESS STEEL: all our stainless steel products are made from Grade 304 steel and come in a brushed finish unless otherwise stated.

BLACK PAINTED: these are iron or steel products painted black. Available in a smooth or hammered finish. Black painted products should provide good protection to the steel or cast iron against rusting and can be touched up at any time.

RBMA

SOLID BRONZE: our solid bronze products come in an antiqued finish and are all English made. This truly is the most exclusive of finishes.

Solid bronze should only be cleaned with a damp cloth and then buffed with a wax polish (such as beeswax) to provide an extra layer of protection. Over time the bronze will oxidise to form a surface patina which will naturally protect the metal. This patina may develop a green tinge to it - this is perfectly natural and is a result of the high copper content (around 65%) of the alloy.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE BRONZE CARE GUIDE

IBMA

APPLIED BRONZE: our applied bronze products come in an antiqued finish. This is a chemical finish applied to brass which is then lacquered to give a similar appearance to solid bronze but at a lower price. These products tend to be a slightly darker in colour than solid bronze.

Applied bronze finished products should only be cleaned with a damp cloth and then buffed with a wax polish (such as beeswax) to provide an extra layer of protection. Care should be taken not to scratch the finish.