Antique Lamp

Antique Lamp









If you have a metal lamp, you may start to see a thin layer form over the metal that gives it a certain sheen. This is called a patina. Unlike other forms of wear and tear, the patina is considered quite lovely and cleaning it off can actually reduce the value of an older lamp.

So, what do you do when your antique lamp forms a patina? This article will lay it all out for you.

What is a Patina?

A patina develops due to a chemical process that occurs when metal oxidizes. The exposure to air gives it a certain sheen and richens its color. The temperature and humidity in the air will cause unique characteristics in the patina.

Patinas are so desirable that some people will even help them along. This can be done by adding acidity and alkalinity to the metal to create the reaction.

However, this process must be carefully controlled. If the patina develops too quickly, the item can lose its lovely finish.

What Type of Metals Does Patina Form On?

A patina can form on a variety of metals including:

  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Zinc
  • Pewter
  • Copper
  • Steel

Each of these metals have natural qualities that will produce different shades of patina. The chemical reaction can cause them to exhibit tones of brown, green, red, and so on depending on their natural characteristics.

If you have an antique lamp made from these metals, you should not clean them yourself after a patina has developed.  A light dusting is okay, but if they need a deep cleaning, it’s best to take them to a professional. A professional will clean them without removing the patina.

Can I Add a Patina to Metal Myself?

Some artists may use paint to give metal a patinaed look. A skilled painter can do a good job of this, but it won’t have quite the same feel.

When the metal is covered in paint, it won’t have the same glow as the patina. It won’t emit the same undertones or have the desired reflective qualities.

Will Adding a Patina Increase the Value of My Lamp?

Adding a patina may increase the value of your lamp as it may make it more attractive to some people so they will pay more for the item. However, a patina does not automatically make your lamp an antique.

Furthermore, if you perform any type of chemical process on a lamp that truly is an antique, it can reduce its value.

If your antique lamp is showing a patina, A Lamp and Fixture can clean it for you without reducing its value. We will get your lamp looking terrific regardless of its condition. Call us today for lamp and fixture restoration services you can count on.