Will my bronze product require any maintenance (indoors or outdoors)?

Your bronze plaque, sign, commemorative product or cast metal lettering should not require major regular maintenance of any type. The metal and all physical and design features of Phoenix bronze products will remain intact indefinitely. 

Phoenix Foundry finishes all bronze products with a clear protective surface coating which ensures the product retains its visual appeal in the long term. Our coating is a Two Pack Thermosetting Acrylic clear paint, applied as a spray in a special purpose paint booth. The process is identical to that used on motor vehicles. In fact, the protective paint used at Phoenix Foundry is also used on superior motor cars such as BMWs. Both Phoenix Foundry and our paint supplier regularly conduct tests to assist us in arriving at the best possible paint and application procedures. This ensures our bronze products maintain their optimum appearance in all conditions.

However, eventually over a long period of time, the paint or patina and clear surface protective coating will break down and detract from the overall appearance of the product. The paint colour and integrity can be affected by ultraviolet light, extreme temperatures and extreme weather. Patina can be affected by extreme weather, industrial fall-out (chemicals) and high levels of atmospheric pollution. The clear surface protective coating can be affected by industrial fall-out (chemicals), accumulated dirt and airborne pollutants that may dull or bleach it, natural substances such as bird droppings, insect stains or tree saps that may mark or etch the film, and water containing salt or other minerals (eg bore water) that may cause the coating to fade.

Phoenix Foundry therefore recommends a degree of low-level, easy care and maintenance procedures which have the aim of preserving the paint and clear surface protective coating for as long as possible.

General Care and Maintenance
As a general rule, it is best to leave the product surface untouched. Only commence these procedures if obvious deterioration or staining occurs.

Plaques and Signs with a Painted Background and Clear Protective Coating:

      1. Clean the plaque or sign with warm water and detergent
      2. If necessary use a brush with soft plastic bristles such as a toothbrush 
      3. Do not use a wire brush or abrasive cleaning products 
      4. Rinse with clear water

Plaques and Signs with a Patina or Bare Metal Finish:

  1. Clean plaque or sign as above
  2. If the surface is tarnished or oxidised leaving an unattractive appearance, carefully rub over the surface with a fine "Scotch Brite" pad
  3. Wipe off the surface until it is clean and dry
  4. Apply a thin even coating of Microcrystalline wax 
  5. Allow to dry and polish with a soft cloth

Refurbishment
In the unlikely event of your bronze product deteriorating to the extent where the recommended care and maintenance steps are not effective, Phoenix can offer two product refurbishing options:

  • Factory Refurbishment – the product is removed from the base structure and returned to Phoenix Foundry. The remaining paint and protective coating is removed by sand blasting. It is then subjected to the regular painting and protective coating procedures that all new bronze products receive. The product will be returned in an "as new" condition with the maximum possible protection against future deterioration.
  • On-site Refurbishment – the product stays where it is (due its removal being impractical or not desired), and is refurbished in-situ using the Refurbishing Kit that Phoenix will supply. The Refurbishing Kit contains: a wire brush; abrasive paper; a brown paint aerosol spray can; a clear paint aerosol spray can; masking tape and a sanding block (eraser) used for plaques or signs with fine detail. You will also need to use a scrubbing brush, water bucket and some detergent. Note that the result will not be to as high a standard or as durable as a factory refurbished product, but certainly a much improved appearance will be achieved.

How to use the On-Site Refurbishment Kit:

Note that the paint drying times may need to be extended in cold weather. 
   1. Wash the product with detergent and water using a scrubbing brush. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry
   2. Thoroughly clean the surface with the wire brush and dust off
   3. Mask around the product to prevent paint getting on the surrounding area
   4. Spray 3 coats of brown paint (allowing 1 minute between each coat) and allow paint to dry 
   5. Highlight the raised elements of the plaque or product (eg. inscription, border and motifs) with the abrasive paper 
   6. Thoroughly remove dust and grit with a soft brush and dust clean 
   7. Spray 4 coats of clear paint (allowing 1 minute between each coat)

 

Back to FAQs