Metal Table Top Stain Test
Metal Table Top Scratch Test
As you can see, the lacquered top performed much better in the stain test, while the waxed top provided more protection from scratching.
Conclusion: Pros and Cons of waxed and lacquered metal table tops
Waxed Metal Table Tops
- Patina forms quicker (which can be a plus on certain projects)
- Scuffs easily
- Marks quicker
- Requires regular waxing to moderate the rate of patina as regular cleaning in a restaurant will wash away the wax
Lacquered Metal Table Tops
- Seals the surface and finish - preventing the natural patina from developing
- Offers better protection against marks than waxed
- More expensive
Stillmarks but less than waxed
- Once the lacquer is damaged it will cause air to enter and patina that particular area which may make the top look worse
- Can only be applied to flat surfaces (more details below)
Note: Lacquer can only be applied to flat surfaces
- Patchwork tops - we can lacquer the top surface but not the edge or nails. This is because the lacquer sitting between the edges and nails will start to split and peel away in use.
- Edging applied on other tops cannot be lacquered because there is a risk of damaging the top surface.
- Mirrored and Hand Beaten tops are kept natural, nothing is applied to them and Brasso can be applied to polish them up.
Metal table tops for outdoor use
Metal table tops such as Brass, Copper, Zinc and Aluminium are non-ferrous metals (contain no iron), and therefore suitable for outdoor use, with either waxed or lacquered finish. The most important thing to remember when using metal tops outdoors is that they will get hot in direct sunlight and may be uncomfortable to use. Also, the core needs to be made from Marine Ply and is not glued to the metal as it will cause movement when the metal heats.
Metal Table Top Summary
Neither finish is perfect so extra care must be taken when specifying metal tops. Metal table tops will tarnish, stain & patina. There is no escaping this.
If you are specifying metal table tops for a restaurant or hotel, make sure your client knows that metal will patina, that's part of its charm. It can complement the look and feel of a space, particularly in industrial or rustic spaces, but if you need something that is going to retain its initial look for longer, metal table tops may not be the right material. While we're here neither is marble! (Read more on acid etching here).
A synthetic table top, such as laminate, will be much more hard-wearing than a natural top. For more help