Your loved one’s headstone or monument means a lot to you. It’s a commemoration of their life, and a physical place you can visit to remember them. Since it holds so much meaning for you, you probably want to keep it looking nice and bright for as long as you can.
Bronze can make a great material for a monument if you’re looking for burial monuments in Walterboro, SC. Here’s how to keep a bronze monument looking new for years to come.
Clean the surface
For bronze burial monuments in Walterboro, SC, the metal you’re trying to protect is probably dirty or dusty from being exposed to outdoor elements, and may even be tarnished already. The first step you’ll need to take before applying any protectant is to clean the surface of the monument from every angle. Use a metal cleaner to polish the bronze monument. If tarnished, you may also want to sand the tarnished surface. You can also apply polish if you wish.
Neutralizing the metal
An important step that many people don’t think about taking is neutralizing the metal. If you’ve used a cleaning product that includes acid, like acid washing the metal or using an acid based cleaner, you’ll need to neutralize it before applying the protectant. If you’ve used a polish or cleaner that doesn’t include acid, you can skip this step. However, if you have, you can wash the metal with a solution of water and EZ-Prep Cleaner and a neutralizer.
If you don’t have EZ-Prep, you can use a solution of water and calcium carbonate or baking soda. Use one cup of baking soda or calcium carbonate to one gallon of water. If the burial monument in Walterboro, SC is smaller, you may not need a full gallon of water, and can adjust the proportions for a smaller amount of the mixture. It’s important to neutralize the metal, because if you don’t, the acid will react to the solvent in the protective coating and turn it darker. After neutralizing, rinse with water and dry.
After you have cleaned and neutralized the monument and allowed it to dry, you should clean with a solvent. Polishes, especially metal polishes, often leave a residue that needs to be removed. A simple solvent and clean cloths will do the trick. Try using xylene or denatured alcohol as a solvent to remove polish residue. Then, you’ll need to allow it to dry again.
Apply protective coatings
A protective coating will prevent bronze from tarnishing in the future. Coatings such as Everbrite and ProtectaClear are self-annealing, so they can be reapplied or touched up without stripping the metal. If you make a mistake, they are easy to remove as well. You can remove the coating with xylene or the solvent you used in the previous step, and then reapply. For an applicator, use a natural bristled brush or microfiber rollers, and a HVLP or airless sprayer for fine finish tips. Then, apply in smooth, even strokes, with a light press. Allow to dry, and you can even apply multiple thin coats for best results.
If you’re looking for burial monuments in Walterboro, SC, Steedley Monument Works provides beautiful monuments and headstones to our valued customers in South Carolina’s Low Country. Reach out to us today to learn more.