With all public sculpture, time, the elements, and the touch of people will eventually create a friendly patina as the metal blends into its new environment. These subtle changes are to be expected. However, to maintain the classic look of bronze, a simple process will protect your sculpture for many years.
The cleaning and waxing of outdoor sculpture should be done at least one time per year. Every 6 months should be considered in damaging environments such as salt air near the ocean or in an urban setting. Your sculpture was originally sealed with a lacquer specifically formulated for bronze. The lacquer was then sealed with paste wax. These two steps provide the initial protection for the surface of your sculpture. As the sculpture is exposed to the elements and to the touch of the public, the wax on the surface will wear away leaving only the lacquer to protect the bronze from the elements. Because of this, a simple maintenance schedule is suggested.Following is a suggested program for maintaining the integrity of the patina coloring and the metal structure of your sculpture.
- Plastic Bucket
- 2”or 3” paint brushes
- PH neutral Detergent
- 4” nylon paint brush
- Soft Scrub Brushes
- Johnson’s Paste Wax
- Duct tape
- Soft Cotton Towels
- Compressed air nozzle (helpful but not required)
This process will normally need to happen over a two-day period. The first day will be for washing and cleaning. The second day will be for waxing and polishing. If this is a team project, you will want more than one of some of the items listed. This is a perfect activity for a group. Students, Scouts, and Civic groups enjoy this as a way to provide community service.