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. Please note that we use a commercial grade zinc for more durability and 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 use metal around the outside of vs solder?

Out of all of the zinc tops we’ve made and with our constant research and development of these style tops, we’ve decided that using metal on the outside is a safer product. When you solder the corners it can still be slightly sharp to the touch, fall out eventually due to use and it causes the sides to leave a sharper edge. We’re all about creating products that anyone can have in their home, restaurant, commercial office etc. without worry. Even though this is the style we choose to use, it’s still an industrial style top that is heavy duty and solid.

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). We don’t highly recommend using zinc products outdoors due to environmental elements that can affect the metal material. 

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