Wax has been recognized for its
stable qualities as a protective coating for thousands
of years. Records in Egypt show it being used as a preservative as far
back as 3,000
There are at least five basic kinds of wax, based on their origin:
Insect (i.e. Beeswax), Vegetable (Carnauba), Mineral (Ceresine),
Petroleum (Paraffin & Microcrystalline) and Synthetic
(Polyethylene). They all have the same thing in common in that they are
normal temperatures and insoluble in water.
Wax products used for preserving
wood, car paint, metal, etc., are usually a blend of
several waxes (each providing its own beneficial characteristic for the kind
being coated) mixed with a solvent to form
a semi-liquid paste. After the paste is
applied, the solvent evaporates, leaving the wax particles attached to
These particles are burnished flat, boding them together into
a durable, clear, water
and air-tight covering.
There are a number of paste waxes that are adequate for preserving bronze
and memorials available in any hardware store, usually in the wood finishing
department. As long as they dry clear and do not leave behind a powdery
However, most paste waxes were
designed for indoor use and donít have the necessary
ingredients to block the Ultra Violet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV
rays are very
hard on the clear-coat finishes of plaques and memorials and will disintegrate
that they loose their ability to protect the metal from the weather.
The best wax we know of has been specifically formulated to preserve
It contains UV, corrosion and acid inhibitors as well as special binders that
protect the metal and the clear finish. Click here if you would like to
order this wax
from the Walker Metalsmith Store.