Outdoor Zinc Top Table

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

December 21, 2012 A. I’m a galvanizer so while I don’t know a lot about furniture, I know a little about zinc surfaces and the various things that can happen. If it’s really zinc, (or a zinc coated steel? it might be galvanized steel?), then it’s probably not an appropriate surface for such an application. Zinc’s main role in such things is corrosion protection. It does this sacrificially. For example steel coated in zinc protects by sacrificing itself instead of the steel being corroded. It is rarely used as an aesthetic finish, as it is visually unstable. With time a weathering zinc surface will go from initially bright shiny silver to dull grey, and its crystalline nature will show through at different time in different ways too. Further, if something touches it that leaves a deposit, or if its touched by something acidic, coloured stains occur. Even water left, is likely to cause colouration changes. So your best plan is probably to coat it, but this raises another problem. Its hard to get coatings to adhere to zinc. Paints, stains, powdercoatings, etc. are like this. Usually, a pretreatment system is used to change the surface to allow things to adhere, but that treatment causes visual changes too. So clear coatings are very rarely used on zinc surfaces for that reason. You can clean the surface, removing oxides, carbonates or whatever deposits get left, using (as you did) steel wool or similar, bjut that just exposes fresh unoxidised zinc which will react – even with the oxygen in air- and discolour again, and probably not to look the same as uncleaned areas. This sounds all very negative, sorry. I think if it were mine, I’d consider putting a different coating on it. Either paint, vinyl, Formica (laminate) or something similar, and forget the look of zinc. Pity! Geoff Crowley galvanizing & powder coating shop Glasgow, Scotland Black Patina for Zinc December 24, 2012 A. Hi JP. Although I don’t disagree with Geoff’s warnings about the generally non-decorative nature of zinc coatings, a lot of stuff is made of zinc including kitchen countertops. I think the toughest part is the blending in. If you can’t do a touchup, you can probably remove the whole finish and re-patina it per the earlier advice on this thread that we appended your inquiry to. Then lacquer it, or patina it and lacquer or clearcoat it. Make sure it’s completely dry before the clearcoating. Good luck. Regards, Ted Mooney, P.E. RET finishing.com Pine Beach, New Jersey
outdoor zinc top table 1

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

A. I’m a galvanizer so while I don’t know a lot about furniture, I know a little about zinc surfaces and the various things that can happen. If it’s really zinc, (or a zinc coated steel? it might be galvanized steel?), then it’s probably not an appropriate surface for such an application. Zinc’s main role in such things is corrosion protection. It does this sacrificially. For example steel coated in zinc protects by sacrificing itself instead of the steel being corroded. It is rarely used as an aesthetic finish, as it is visually unstable. With time a weathering zinc surface will go from initially bright shiny silver to dull grey, and its crystalline nature will show through at different time in different ways too. Further, if something touches it that leaves a deposit, or if its touched by something acidic, coloured stains occur. Even water left, is likely to cause colouration changes. So your best plan is probably to coat it, but this raises another problem. Its hard to get coatings to adhere to zinc. Paints, stains, powdercoatings, etc. are like this. Usually, a pretreatment system is used to change the surface to allow things to adhere, but that treatment causes visual changes too. So clear coatings are very rarely used on zinc surfaces for that reason. You can clean the surface, removing oxides, carbonates or whatever deposits get left, using (as you did) steel wool or similar, bjut that just exposes fresh unoxidised zinc which will react – even with the oxygen in air- and discolour again, and probably not to look the same as uncleaned areas. This sounds all very negative, sorry. I think if it were mine, I’d consider putting a different coating on it. Either paint, vinyl, Formica (laminate) or something similar, and forget the look of zinc. Pity!
outdoor zinc top table 2

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

I don’t know what it is, but I have never seen zinc do it, so I lean more towards thinking it’s staining of some sort than a spontaneous emission from the zinc. I’d suggest trying isopropyl alcohol — it shouldn’t hurt the zinc, it’s a disinfectant (which can’t hurt), and it removes magic marker stains in case the markings are of that sort.
outdoor zinc top table 3

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

July 2014 A. Hi Erica. You say “black” and you’re probably right, although they look dark red on my monitor. I don’t know what it is, but I have never seen zinc do it, so I lean more towards thinking it’s staining of some sort than a spontaneous emission from the zinc. I’d suggest trying isopropyl alcohol — it shouldn’t hurt the zinc, it’s a disinfectant (which can’t hurt), and it removes magic marker stains in case the markings are of that sort. Regards, Ted Mooney, P.E. RET finishing.com Pine Beach, New Jersey
outdoor zinc top table 4

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

Hand-finished by skilled carpenters to give each piece an individual touch, this long, zinc-topped table invites season after season of outdoor gatherings. Its solid teak trestle legs are pre-treated with our Weather Guard finish, which gives the wood a silvery, aged patina and prevents wear and tear from sun, heat, or rain. – Teak wood, zinc-finish metal – Weather Guard finish – Reapply Weather Guard every six months – Imported 29.9”H, 39.4”W, 94.5”L
outdoor zinc top table 5

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

Hand-finished by skilled carpenters to give each piece an individual touch, this long, zinc-topped table invites season after season of outdoor gatherings. Its solid teak trestle legs are pre-treated with our Weather Guard finish, which gives the wood a silvery, aged patina and prevents wear and tear from sun, heat, or rain. – Teak wood, zinc-finish metal – Weather Guard finish – Reapply Weather Guard every six months – Imported 29.9”H, 39.4”W, 94.5”L Shipping + Returns
outdoor zinc top table 6

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

A: My table has chipped over time. I've wondered the same thing myself. If I were to remove the top coating, I don't see why you couldn't have the bare zinc. Most zinc tables don't come with a coating in the first place. hzlfmt Oct 19, 2016
outdoor zinc top table 7

Outdoor Zinc Top Table

My table has chipped over time. I've wondered the same thing myself. If I were to remove the top coating, I don't see why you couldn't have the bare zinc. Most zinc tables don't come with a coating in the first place. hzlfmt Oct 19, 2016
outdoor zinc top table 8

Barbara, I am ok with the imperfections and yes sometimes glasses will leave marks. I’m pretty sure there is a sealant that they sell (from the same place I bought the zinc). One good aspect about the zinc, is that you can lightly sand it and it will remove any marks.
outdoor zinc top table 9

I think I will have to go back and re read this to see what I am missing and everyone else is seeing. I was hoping for some really good instructions, as I have gotten from other blogs but this seemed disjointed and almost as though you expected the reader to know much about that which you were speaking. Maybe I need to go back and try and find your blog, since this was a link up from another one. Otherwise I don’t think it will do me much good. what a shame, I would love to have a zinc top table.
outdoor zinc top table 10

Angela – Thank you so much for posting these thoughtful, detailed instructions. I’m 68 years old and have no husband to do this sort of thing for me, so I tackled the project myself and I’m pleased to say that my zinc table top looks terrific! The only point in the project that gave me trouble was soldering the corners. The solder kept falling out when I filed it, even though I had used the flux. I wound up filling the corners with Minwax epoxy wood filler, and painting over that with silver paint. I know that’s cheating, but it barely shows. I really appreciate the care you took in your instructions and photos.
outdoor zinc top table 11

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