Eric and Debra Montgomery of The Metal Shoppe are the copper specialists, in that they specialize in design and fabrication of custom copper range hoods / copper kitchen hoods and custom copper countertops. They also offer these products in steel, stainless steel and zinc.

The Metal Shoppe specialists in copper and metal products, such as copper kitchen range hoods and copper and metal countertops.

They have tried to cover a few commonly asked questions regarding the care of copper and zinc.

Please feel free to review information on this page.

Please CONTACT THE METAL SHOPPE with any further questions that were not satisfied with the information on this page.

Commission The Metal Shoppe to design and create a one-of-a-kind piece for your home or place of business - using old school craftsmanship with their own creative flair!



Copper is a soft metal and ages beautifully. Our patina processes are applied to accelerate the aging process, particularly on interior pieces.

We offer a number of copper finishes, utilizing a variety of application techniques. Please be aware and understand that these finishes are hand-applied the copper can react in different ways due to environmental variables such as the atmosphere or temperature. Because of this fact, there may be variations in the color or finish.

Most of our work is done in more of an aged brown copper finish with various highlights or darker "imperfections". We then apply by hand a paste wax protective coating, which results in what is called a "living finish." The paste wax protective coating will slow the aging process down (versus leaving it raw), but it will continue to darken. And as I mentioned before, environmental factors may cause some areas to age more quickly and/or differently than others.

There is no way to really control this, but the aged/antique look is one of the characteristics of our copper work typically sought after by our customers and collectors of handcrafted copper work. However, occasional re-waxing every six months or so will help the color stay as stable as possible. We have found that Johnsons Paste Wax is best suited for this. You can find this at any local hardware store.


Do not use abrasive cleaners/pads (such as Scotchbrite) or use harsh/abrasive chemicals. These products will remove the patina. You can use a small amount of mild soap such as mild dish soap with a soft moist cloth to wipe the surface. Copper is naturally antibacterial and because of this, frequent cleaning is not necessary. Most of the time, just light dusting with a soft cloth/duster is sufficient to maintain your copper.

More Information About Copper /

More Information About Copper / ANTIMICROBIAL COPPER


Zinc Counters can be finished with many types of finishes. New sheets have a shiny finish similar to stainless steel and over time the sheet of zinc will naturally oxidize into its patina finish, which is a dark gray almost like a pewter color.

If various chemicals are used on zinc counter tops, it can accelerate the patina and create unusual effects. Zinc has an old world charm, falling under a "French Country" category. Zinc is really beautiful alongside antique woods.

Zinc may be maintained with occasional waxing with Beeswax or Butchers Wax. You may scrub Zinc with a Scotchbrite pad as hard as you like to remove any marks or stains. These products may be re-polished for a bright appearance. Re-sanding on site to remove signs of wear and scratches is also a fairly simple process. The long term look of zinc is distinctly " Country" in nature as these counters and sinks will acquire what they call a Living Finish that changes with time.

NOTE: Points of welding, soldering, joints of sheets, etc, yield a different shade and at times different levels. This is to be considered part of the "charm" of zinc counter tops.

Is Zinc Safe: Yes - quite. Zinc is non toxic and quite safe for food prep surfaces. It is naturally antibacterial. Zinc is an important mineral in the human body. It has traditionally been used on Seafood and Oyster Bar tops (presumably for antibacterial qualities) It is a safe material to use but we recommend a chopping block for cutting and food prep to prevent excessive scratching or marring.

Does it look like stainless steel: At first it might, then over time it will patina and age with charm like a crudely made early American artifact. The color will then be like Pewter.

Does Zinc scratch: As in all metals, Zinc will scratch. That's part of the charm of choosing a metal product such as this for your home. The long term look is definitely "Country" in nature as these counters and sinks will acquire what they refer to as a "Living Finish" that changes with time and use.

Do Zinc Counters Tarnish: Zinc countertops do tarnish, in that they will acquire a pewter gray patina coloration. Food and drink will also create their own pattern of use on your counter top - hence again, the "Living Finish." However, the tarnishing process may be controlled somewhat by occasionally waxing with Butchers wax, Beeswax or Johnson's Paste Wax. Zinc products can be re-polished for a bright appearance. Re-sanding on site to remove signs of wear and scratches is a fairly simple process.

How are the counters put together: That is up to the fabricator/installation personnel. Typically, soldering, TIG welding or mechanical attachment are the means of attaching the zinc countertops. The zinc countertops are then mounted to an appropriate substrate surface for installation.


Minor scratches and mineral streaking can be brushed with a household Scotchbrite pad.

Deep scratches may be sanded through the grades up to 220 and buffed with the same pad.

Use a circular pattern for a #4 finish or a straight line motion for a machine brush.

High polished zinc may be serviced with automotive compound and a machine polishing pad.


Examples of Unacceptable Contact Products and Run off for Zinc:

Please note that this list is not exhaustive:

  • Copper

  • Steel (Non galvanized)

  • Gypsum dust/ Lime stone dust

  • Non-compatible woods: Larch, Oak, Chestnut, Red cedar, Douglas Fir, White Cedar, All woods with a pH
  • Mortar

  • Rosin paper

  • Bituminous membranes

  • Products with fire retardant and preservation treatments

  • Acidic cleaners (brick cleaner etc)

  • Brass

  • Cast Iron

  • Chrome

  • Bitumen, even when not in direct contact but simply close to it.

Materials Acceptable In The Case of Direct Contact With Zinc:

  • Lead

  • Aluminum (painted, anodized, or bare)

  • Galvanized Steel

  • Stainless Steel

  • Compatible Woods: Pine, Spruce, Scots Pine, Poplar

With the exception of the Bitumen mentioned above, if precautions are taken to avoid direct contact, Zinc can be used with all types of substructures.

More Information About Zinc/

More Information About Zinc/INT'L ZINC ASS'N


Click to download PDF file on Copper Care / FAQs

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Zinc Care / FAQs

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FAQs / Copper - Pewter - Zinc Info By The Metal Shoppe and

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