What is a PATINA…..

Patina (per my notes from studying antiques): Color and texture of the surface produced by age and wear. In wood furniture the varnish, shellac, or oil has a tendency to deepen yet retains the transparency. Edges wear smooth and sharp and outlines are softened. Some but no these characteristics can be duplicated to some extent.

Wikipedia results for Patina (/ˈpætɨnə/ or /pəˈtnə/) is a thin layer that variously forms on the surface of stone; on copperbronze and similar metals (tarnish produced by oxidation or other chemical processes);[1] on wooden furniture (sheen produced by age, wear, and polishing); or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure. Patinas can provide a protective covering to materials that would otherwise be damaged by corrosion or weathering. They may also be aesthetically appealing.

On metal, patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxidescarbonatessulfides, or sulfates formed on the surface during exposure to atmospheric elements (oxygenrainacid raincarbon dioxidesulfur-bearing compounds), a common example of which is rust which forms on iron or steel when exposed to oxygen. Patina also refers to accumulated changes in surface texture and colour that result from normal use of an object such as a coin or a piece of furniture over time.[2]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patina

Patina Wood

Photo source http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-patina-wood-image3841603

The picture above shows a good example of the wood oxidation, age, and wear which are parts of patina. What it doesn’t show is the finish or polishing. If there was finish or polish on here there doesn’t appear to be anymore.


This is a Chinese walking chair I worked on years ago. This had very nice patina on it and wear. I only wish I took a close up photo.


This is one of the most historical and treasured pieces I worked on. Colt gun manufacturing got in to manufacturing furniture for a short time. This dresser was one of the pieces from the descendents. Unfortunately there was a house fire luckily we where able to restore the dresser by preserving the patina.


This is a recent project I have done to recreate a patina between layers of paint, finish, and stain. Then clear coated and polished. This is the new type of “patina” that is being created.

So now that we have seen and done some research as to what patina is. Recreating a patina is very common practice with todays repurposing. My thoughts are is it appropriate to continue to use the word patina when referring to something just repainted and repurposed or should we leave the word with the true antique?


Thanks for reading and Happy Junking!



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