At Premier Copper Products, we are often asked about what is normal wear for copper sinks, copper bathtubs, and other copper products. More specifically we get asked what to do about light and dark spots that occur with normal use. The answer is both simple and relieving: the finish will take care of itself.
Copper has what is considered a living finish, and it naturally protects itself from the environment. The Statue of Liberty is copper, and when first delivered was shiny like penny. After years of exposure to elements, copper develops a finish to protect itself, a barrier called patina. This patina has stages – first brown, then black, then green like Lady Liberty. That last green stage occurs after years(10-15) of exposure to an outdoor environment, so be assured that your copper sink will not turn green, as it is indoors and away from constant bombardment from the elements.
Premier Copper Products beautiful finishes come from exposure to fire. This high temperature exposure accelerates the patina development process that brings out the deep, rich color of a Premier Copper Sink. Your sink might be exposed to different household elements, such as the acids in foods, that can cause lightened spots and color variations, or to scratches from normal use while washing dishes. This is normal. The beauty of a living finish is the sink color is in constant variation. These variation will blend together over time. Light spots will naturally darken and dark spots will naturally lighten. Even if scratched, the shiny scratch mark will darken and blend back into the finish over the course of time.
To help speed up the repair of a light spot or scratch, wash the sink with soap and water. Leave the finish exposed and do not use wax, which coats and protects the copper from the elements. You want to leave the spot exposed and use the sink as you normally would to encourage the copper to form new patina.
Maintenance tip: Once a year, purchase Wet Sand Paper in 500-600 grit from your local hardware store. Get the sand paper and sink wet and do a light sanding over the entire surface. This will expose the copper at top of the hammer marks and help to even out the patina and blend the finish all together. After sanding, rinse and dry the sink and apply wax. Read more about copper care in our Care Instructions section.