Earlier this month Blind Eye Restoration cleaned and refinished the Bexley Public Library's front door, that dates back to the building's construction in 1929! You can read the news article here but for more details on the process, keep reading!
The door is constructed completely of bronze, and has maintained a "gilded" appearance for many years. This means that when highly polished, the metal resembled a high gold/brass finish, and was maintained with a laquer coating over top. The problem with this was that lacquer is only truly protective by itself for a year or two before it begins to crack and flake away from high weather and UV exposure. In this particular location, the door was gathering a lot of moisture, by holding on to the dampness of morning dew or other precipitation because of the way the cool masonry building blocked the sun all day and discouraged evaporation. Between the general moisture and weather exposure, sidewalk salts during the winter, and high patron use, the door finish failed very quickly.
Above you can see (even after our full test cleaning) how the base of the door had become corroded and unevenly colored. The "gilded"appearance of the lacquer had failed, and was allowing the unevenly exposed metal to react with the atmosphere around it and try to return to its natural state (ie it would create a crust of patina over the surface of those areas). This created a very splotchy appearance throughout, but especially along the base where the laquer had failed the soonest. BER conducted a cleaning test on the bottom of the right sidelight to make sure that the corrosion was only on the surface of the metal, and sure enough, the metal was found to be in good condition and able to be restored to match the rest of the door.
For the official restoration process, the door and the sidelights were disassembled in place, and the lacquer was removed piece by piece, waxed, and then reassembled. A hot wax process was used for this full restoration to fully protect the base of the door from the worst of the natural environmental abuses, and a maintenance plan was created for the library to care for and maintain the door in between quarterly checkups by BER for the forthcoming year.