PROPER CARE FOR COPPER TABLE TOPS
Mexican copper is made from solid sheets of recycled copper that have patina colors applied either through the natural fire and water method, or a chemical process to achieve specific coloration. The copper is hand-hammered to increase the strength of the copper and the beauty of the copper patinas.
Your copper table top has been sealed with paste wax and high polished. To preserve the finish and to keep the copper sealed and protected against spills and oxidation, a thin coat of paste wax should be applied to the copper when water no longer beads on the surface. We recommend clear Briwax (available on Amazon). For the darker patina colors, use Briwax dark.
Recommended Care and Maintenance
Copper is easy to maintain and it is naturally antiseptic. Follow these simple guidelines in caring for your copper table top.
Dust regularly and keep your copper clean and dry.
Wipe a-free cloth or duster across the table a few times, and the copper surface should be clear of all specs.
For basic cleaning, take a soft cloth, dampen it with warm water and lather it slightly with mild soap. Run the cloth across the surface of the table two or three times. With the table now clean, wipe it dry with a fresh cloth.
Only use mild soap and water when necessary.
Do not clean with abrasives or chemical compounds.
Do not use lemon, as the acid will damage the finish and color.
Waxing is recommended after cleaning to protect against spills and oxidation.
Apply a thin coat of Briwax; let dry for five to ten minutes. Then, buff to a glossy sheen using a clean, dry cotton cloth. There are also foam pads you can buy to polish. Every few months, apply multiple thin coats of wax. Waxing makes the copper look richer and more beautiful. If you have a larger copper table top, it might be wise to invest in a hand-held electric polishe r.
Between waxing, a light finish coat of furniture spray polish can be applied to add luster. In Mexico, the fabricators use Pledge.
Acid spills (coke, vinegar, lemon, wine, etc.) can cause a color change if not removed within 10 minutes on a waxed surface.
Clean the area as quickly as possible with a damp cloth. Copper through natural oxidation will heal itself over time. The area will begin to recover its color gradually over time. The amount of time varies, but typically is between 2 to 3 weeks. It may not match the original color exactly, but will be close enough to blend with the natural beauty and characteristics of the top. Once the affected area has healed itself and the original color tones have recovered, the copper should be sealed again with paste wax to preserve and protect the finish.
While waxing protects the copper, not waxing the natural fire and water patinas promotes a more unique copper patina and brings out a beauty all its own through the natural copper oxidation process.
Your top may patina green in areas of high humidity or in coastal areas. If you do not want the green patina to develop (it takes time), wash the green patina off, and keep the surface waxed.
NOTE: If your copper table top patina was achieved through a chemical process as in the Dark Brown finishes, you need to pay careful attention to acid spills. You have about 10 minutes to remove the spill on a well waxed table top. The chemically treated surfaces will not oxidize back to the chemically treated patina though it will darken. There are products available that will darken the stained area. Call the office for information.
Copper is a soft metal and sharp utensils can scratch and gouge the surface. If your copper furniture becomes scratched, the best thing to do is - nothing! As with stains, leave the affected area alone and let it be exposed to the air until the copper begins to regain its original. The amount of time required for this process varies, but it is typically on the order of a few weeks. Once the affected area has healed itself and the original color tones have recovered, the copper should be sealed again with paste wax to preserve and protect the finish. Though the scratch will not technically be removed, it will not be visible once it turns back to the original color.
Heat and Liquid
Do not set down hot pans without using a trivet or place mat and use coasters for all of your iced, drinking glasses. Our finish process will cause anything spilled on the tabletop finish to "bead up" just as on the finish of a brand new car. But water left for extended periods of time could cause spotting.
Do not allow your copper table to be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time! Direct sunlight can fade framed pictures, the finish on wood tables, and draperies; the same can be said for your new copper top table.
Copper, as with all metals, will absorb heat and when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time may get hot. In regions with hotter climates, copper tops would best be placed under covered areas or patios.
Copper will discolor if a ferrous metal such as steel is placed for a long period of time on the tabletop surface. This would include, but not be limited to, steel or ferrous pottery, candlestick holders, charges etc. Please keep in mind that some clay pottery does contain metal (ferrous) properties that will discolor your tabletop too. Always make sure that anything set on the tabletop has a protective backing such as felt to protect your tabletop.
When you purchase through Custom Copper Works, you are not buying from inventory; you are buying YOUR made-to-order, customized, unique creation … delivered to your door! To learn more about our “quality for less” copper tables, table tops and copper soaking tubs with matching sinks, click here for more information.