Metal art is unique, eye-catching, durable and long lasting hence it has been designer choice for long time now. Finishing the artwork is essential not only to complete the effect and enhance its appeal but also to protect the metal from discoloration, rust and corrosion. Modern technology provides a variety of options for applying patinas and finishes galore. Many patinas and finishes are for use only with specific metals and alloys.
Among the varieties available are:
- Clear acrylic finishes are transparent coatings given to works of metal art to protect them from the effect of water and environmental pollution (such as acid rain or atmospheric chemicals). This may either be applied on bare metal or as a protective coat for painted surfaces. Acrylic finishes may be either completely clear or may have glossy or matte finishes, depending on the effect desired.
- Multi-hued patinas for copper artwork are used for creating a uniform tarnish and are useful for giving copper an aged and rustic look. The pre-existing natural color of multiple pieces of copper joined together in a final metal artwork may vary due to even slight differences in the metal composition or the forging process. This is the best way to ger an apparent uniformity of color over the surface of the entire artwork.
- Colored patinas are often applied to copper bronze and brass artworks. The most common shades are blue, green, and a green and blue combination.
- Ornamental rust finishes are used to create a rusting effect and the appearance of age to ferrous metals like copper and steel. A visually apparent rust effect is created without actually damaging the metal.
- Pewter patinas are applied to darken metal and give the artwork an antique look.
- Black finishes are applied to steel surfaces to give the aged and antique look. The patina may be either glossy or matte. However, if the artwork is given a glossy finish and is placed in a brightly lit area where the effect of the light may be to make it too shiny, the finish may be easily redone with a black matte patina to reduce the reflective sheen.