What is patina?

Patina can refer to any fading, darkening or other signs of age, which are felt to be natural or unavoidable (or both). The chemical process by which a patina forms or is deliberately induced is called patination, and a work of art coated by a patina is said to be patinated.

We use patina finishes on our metal and zinc products as a color option but what exactly is patina you ask? The best way to explain it is that it’s a “process.” Just like things age over time, a patina finish put on metal/steel or zinc processes to bring out the raw metal textures, color and enhances the current metal look. Patina is a tarnish produced by chemical processes that forms on the surface of many types of metals. When exposed to the elements, a coating of various chemical compounds, such as oxides and carbonates form on the surface. Using this process, it creates a weathered appearance on the metal or zinc which will continue to change over time.

So instead of having a solid painted product, you can choose the patina option where you keep that industrial/metal look over time while still attempting to match your current home decor.

Sealing Patina

Do you seal the patina since it’s technically still raw metal?

Yes. We seal each product after creating the patina process to preserve the color over time. Sealing it also brings out the color and tones of the metal even more while making the color a tad bit darker than when it only has the patina on it.

Does the color continue to change?

Yes it can. Patina is a constant aging process even after it’s sealed. Weather and environmental elements can affect it as well by even causing it to rust. Patina is in part a form of rust and aging. It also can totally depend on the metal itself and how it takes the color and continues to take the color over time.

Patina Processing on Metal

Patina on Zinc Metal Material

Zinc is a form of natural metal that has a modern and/or industrial look to it. Just like steel, zinc can show irregularities and flaws in the metal whether you choose the regular zinc or patina color options (which is the unique and beautiful thing about it!).

Does every “patina” piece come out the exact same?

We get this question a lot and the answer is – no but that’s the beauty of the patina look. Metal is like wood where it may take the color different in some areas than others. We do our best to make it as even as possible but there are some areas that may have more color than other spots. So no product is exactly the same.

Ready to try a patina color process on the next piece for your home? Contact us with any questions you have AND if you want to see colors in hand then make sure to customize a sample kit.