A lot of the beauty of remodeling and home decor is in illusion. It's getting a new look with an old material or an old feel with a new paint. The art of vintage or rustic building and design was probably invented around the same time as the words themselves, and still we haven't grown tired of the luster and longevity of vintage products.
Yet rustic materials, most notably metal, copper, and wood, are not the same as they once were and therefore require a little additional care when being handled. Here are some tips for handling three of our favorite rustic friends.
Rustic metal has a list of uses a phone book in thickness, from junk art to roofing. If you have a creative streak and are handy with metals (welding, etc.), your options are nearly infinite. Why rustic? There are a lot of situations that rustic metal fits: fireplace utensils, cabin or cottage decor, kitchen decor, and more.
When working with rustic metal, however, it is important to remember that you are working with rust. Rust, being the result of oxidation of the metal, can be a rather messy subject and wearing gloves and protective eyewear is always recommended.
When water and oxidation get to work, steel gets rusty and copper gets patinated. In fact, it is the lustrous green patina of aged copper that lends it much of its appeal. You can even purchase pre-patinated copper roofing and sheet metal these days. While installation of the natural and patinated copper is the same, there is one big difference between handling fresh and patinated copper: dust.
Patina dust can cause rust in iron and steel so tools and equipment must be protected. Any tools used during a day of working with patinated copper should be lightly oiled and wiped down before being stowed for the night. Also, patina dust is not so good for humans either, and gloves and respirators should be worn by anyone working with the material.
When bending or cutting patinated copper, the patina is liable to crack or blemish slightly. Have no fear as the natural elements themselves will mend the break. ...read full post →