Why wax?

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 solid at
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 of material
being coated) mixed with a solvent to form
a semi-liquid paste.  After the paste is
the solvent evaporates, leaving the wax particles attached to the surface.
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 plaques
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 residue they
will work.

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 them so
that they loose their ability to protect the metal from the weather. 

The best wax we know of has been specifically formulated to preserve outdoor bronzes.
It contains UV, corrosion and acid inhibitors as well as special binders that that
protect the metal and the clear finish.  Click here if you would like to order this wax
from the Walker Metalsmith Store.

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