Secret to long lasting Rubbed Bronze finish (June 2011)
To create a colored or rubbed bronze finish on decorative hardware made of brass, copper, bronze or munz metal, it is important to keep that finish from fading or looking dull. Whether you use Mi-Tique® or another coloring chemistry there are a few topcoats to choose from, depending on your needs. One thing to keep in mind: How you relieve a part with oil can also affect the color. You can test by dry wiping the smut and oiling vs. oiling and wiping the smut off with cotton rags. The oil wipe usually has the darker brown appearance.
To achieve a hard coating, an interior lacquer acrylic formulated for copper alloys like Metal Guard® 600, is one option. Acrylic coating are durable, but can create a plastic-like appearance which may alter the finished look of high end or expensive hardware.
A soft, oil coating like Mi-Tique Bronze Oil, offers a more natural looking finish, sometimes referred to as a “living” finish that can change slightly over time from wear. After the copper alloy is colored and wiped off, the oil can be wiped on or the part can be dipped. The oil will keep that oiled rubbed bronze or ORB look longer than a solvent cutback oil, or alcohol containing furniture polish oil which evaporate and tend to dry out. Mi-Tique Bronze Oil is a highly refined oil similar to baby oil, is safe for skin contact and has a low evaporation rate. Silicone oil can make a similar appearance, but it is difficult to clean if any rework is needed.