Some of my fondest memories have been shaped by our trips to the Paris flea market. Every antiquity a history aficionado could ever dream of can be found on those merchant tables. So many beautiful fragment of history have been gathered to be sold and given a brand new lease on life. It’s magical to say the least. Every trip I remember seeing these zinc fragments rescued from what I can only assume to be, the most gorgeous buildings in Paris. These timeless pieces were rare, beautiful and of course EXPENSIVE! In an effort to capture my own piece of Parisian architectural history right here in Memphis, Gene and I got to work! Our steps to create antique zinc are not only simple, but include an incredible affordable material: galvanized sheet metal!
In fact, any unsealed galvanized sheet metal surface is a candidate for the Antique Parisian Zinc solution. Since discovering this process, I have enjoyed creating all types of table tops from galvanized sheet metal, including counter tops, vent-a-hood and even walls! This signature antiquing process has makes all the difference in countless pieces of furniture.
I recently procured this a wonderful little bucket after I falling in love with it’s shape. I can’t quite say the same for the shiny finish however–that is not too attractive. But as always, I have greater plans ahead!
Step 1 – Put on your gloves!
Pro tip: Be sure to always wear protective plastic gloves during every step of this process. Don’t learn the hard way.
Step 2 – Prepare your zinc solution
Pour an appropriate amount of solution into a rubber, plastic or glass container.
Step 3 – Your Lint Rag
Gather your lint-free rag in a ball and gently dip the tip into your solution, soak until it is saturated.
Step 4 – Saturate The Surface
Before applying solution to metal, gently squeeze out the dripping excess from rag. Evenly saturate your entire surface with the unique solution. Be mindful to never allow an area to be left with unattended drips. This could result in an undesirable patina pattern.
Step 5 – Rub Into The Metal
Once the entire surface has been evenly saturated, make a second pass over the entire surface. This time rub the antique solution into the metal with a firm circular motion.
Pro tip: If there are areas you find you have missed, quickly go back and apply the solution there. You want to make sure your surface has 100% solution coverage as it cures.
Step 6 – Tweak The Desired Affect
As the solution begins to dry, you will see your sheet metal change to a lighter color. If you desire a darker patina, simply apply more solution. I recommend never going too dark. I prefer to simply dull all of the shine of the metal and let the natural silver tone show through.
Step 7 – Finish With Clear Wax
If you are working on a surface that is being frequently agitated, such as table top, I recommend finishing with an even coat of the Amy Howard at Home Clear Wax for added protection.
I hope you too have learned how easy it can be to enjoy the beauty of authentically aged patina on all of your metal surfaces. Here’s to achieving the allure of antique Parisian zinc right in your own home!
Enjoy the Bragging Rights!