HOW TO CARE & MAINTENAIN YOUR BRONZE
It can be very confusing to find the right information on how to clean and maintain your bronze statue specially on the internet today, everyone is always trying to sell you something and you may not think so but bronze statues need very little care or maintenance and can last for hundreds of years.
Many metal cleaning companies will offer special cleaning solutions that contain harmful chemicals and oils to care for your bronze statues but, those things are more likely to harm your bronze than help it, you could end up removing the patina and destroying the metal finish.
How to clean a Bronze Statue
- The best cleaner for bronze statues is plain soap and water, like Ivory liquid dishwashing soap and water. (Don’t use soaps with scents like lemon scent or other additives. Add enough soap to make bubbles in the water and that is all you need to clean the dirt from the surface. Too much soap could leave a soap residue that will require more rinsing later.)
- Then use a damp clean rag to wipe down the statue.
- Allow the statue to dry completely. (Usually a statue is dry in a couple of hours.)
- And finally you need to re-wax the statue. (The best type of wax to use is plain, clear, paste wax. DO not use automotive waxes as they could be harmful to bronze and they tend to dry white leaving spots behind.)
How to apply a wax coat to a Bronze Statue
- Use a soft cloth or an unused paintbrush.
- Apply a light coat and allow it to dry. (Most waxes are dry within 20 minutes.)
- Then buff the statue using a soft cloth or clean brush. (Apply a second coat if this is an outdoor statue)
- Still not sure your statue has enough Protection? Use a liquid silicone (brand name Armor All) to clean statue. (It does not disturb the wax coating, adds another protective layer and leaves a nice shine.)
List of waxes:
- Trewax Clear Paste Wax: For Lighter colors or multi-colored patinas
- Johnson's Clear Paste Wax: It is best used on darker patinas as it has been known to darken lighter colors. It also produces a nice shine when buffed.
- Mohawk Blue Label Paste Wax: For Lighter colors or multi-colored patinas
- Renaissance Wax: It is used by museum curators around the word to protect bronze. It dries very hard and very quickly and it is resistant to fingerprints. This one can be used for light, dark or multi-colored patinas.
Please remember to stay away from any type of oil base cleaning product! And if you are ever in doubt call a professional or speak to other bronze artists or bronze foundries to get their recommendations and feedback.
If you want more information on what it takes to clean a bronze sculpture read "The Care of Bronze Sculpture" by Patrick Kipper.
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