What exactly is zinc?

Zinc is a thinner alternative to stainless steel because it’s a “living metal” that changes color over time in reaction to its surroundings. Zinc continues to only get better with age, it does not rust, making it ideal for exterior environments. It also has antibacterial properties that makes it a great option for table top, bar top and counter top use.

What’s to love about zinc?

  • It’s non-porous so you can clean it with just soap and water.
  • It gets better with age.
  • It has anti-bacterial properties, making it a great surface for prepping food if used in the kitchen.

What’s not to like?

  • Zinc is soft, so it scratches easily. If used as a counter top, be sure to have cutting boards handy.
  • If used in the kitchen, anything over 300 degrees can melt the zinc if placed directly on it.
  • Anything spilled on zinc that’s acidic can cause the patina to alter and leave a stain, unless a sealer is applied.

Why do you not use rivets in your zinc products like other companies?

We are not fans of the rivet look on the outside or down the middle of the table top and turns out most agree with us. The rivets do help with stabilizing the zinc but it’s not completely necessary. We like a clean look of the zinc but with not using the rivets there can be some play (not always but possible) in the zinc when it’s wrapped/bent around the wood. And truthfully even with rivets there can be play in the product too. The only time we do use rivets are when we make round tables larger than 48″ in diameter or square tables wider than 46″.

Zinc Table Top
Zinc Patina Color Options

How do you care for the zinc?

It should be cleaned with a soft damp cloth, mild detergent (like dish soap) and water. Do not use abrasive materials to clean. Do not place hot plates, pans or the alike directly on the surface. Do not clean with bleach, vinegar, or any other solutions with harsh chemicals. Vinegar, wine, and other acidic foods and liquids may strip the zinc patina. These types of spills should immediately be cleaned with water and a mild detergent (dish soap).

To seal or not to seal?

We recommend sealing your zinc product if you plan to use it as an every day item in your home, kitchen or commercial space. If you do no seal the zinc, you are more prone to seeing stains, rings from drinks etc. If you want the zinc to naturally patina and show the flaws over time then don’t worry about sealing your product.

On the right is an example of sealed vs. unsealed that sat outdoors in every season for exactly one year. The unsealed shows the natural patina color that transpires over time.

Right below is an example of acidic liquids exposed on both zinc options that feature a before and after of how it affects the zinc material.

Southern Sunshine - Zinc Products