Is copper table practical?

jeannettecJune 12, 2011

My husband and I just saw a beautiful copper dining table with the edges in walnut. The wood crafter said the copper was not coated and that he'd done a table like this seven years ago. After seven years, he said the copper had become multi-colored with swirls but it was not the green patina that you see outdoors. He said it will stand up to heavy use but I'm not convinced. I don't want to fuss with my main table.

I looked up how to care for copper tables. Some say you shouldn't put water glasses down on them and you shouldn't use water to clean them. That seems really restrictive. They suggest you wax them twice a year. That seems OK.

Does anyone have a copper table top. How practical is it?

I don't mind if the copper changes hue or becomes multi-colored but it must be easy to clean off.


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Copper is beautiful, but check into a coating for it, copper can be harmful, especially when it comes in contact with food. That is why copper pots were lined with tin and we always advise customers not to use an antique copper pot unless it has been re-tined. I do believe that copper counters are treated in someway because of this.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:47PM
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Well...I guess if you are going to lay your food right on the table it might be harmful...but so would the finish on my wood table.
I don't own a copper table but have seen and eaten from them at restaurants. Glasses make rings and they do develop a brownish tint....but if you spill something, say for example a couple of drops of lemonade or a little tomato sauce, it will take that patina back to new penny color in a moment. You might be OK in that many layers of use and consider it part of the patina.....but know before you take the leap.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 8:59PM
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A couple of issues I've seen with copper are
- Especially with hammered copper, the high points tend to get buffed out (forearms, dishes, decor) with normal use. If the copper is chemically patinated, this will show up as a lighter spot.

- Copper is soft enough to scratch. It takes some effort, but it does scratch and there's not a good cure for it.

Most of the copper I deal with is top coated, but I can also believe that spilled acidic foods/drinks will leave a bright spot. People sometimes clean cent pieces by putting them in a glass of Coca-Cola.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Reading with interest because I'm considering a set from Riverside called Medley, but in living room tables vs. a dining room set. :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:36PM
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Riverside Medley end and cocktail tables seem to be marble inset. I noted a countertop height table that was hammered copper.

It depends a lot of your use. I did a couple of warranty calls for a customer a number of years ago. There were white blush marks on the edges of their cocktail table. Their comment was, "It does that when we put our feet on it. When we put feet on those [end] tables, they don't mark up like that."

I"m thinking, "What part of cocktail _table_ sounds like 'ottoman'?"

I know people put shoes and stocking feet (hot and sweaty) on cocktail tables, eat off them, slide game consoles, lap-tops, and game controllers on them. But that would be extreme use.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 5:18PM
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Companies that specialize in copper furniture, do deal in food grade copper. I wanted to let readers know that, as an antique dealer and a family business in HVAC, I have seen that sometimes do-it-yourself projects will use pieces of construction/HVAC copper to make tables and cover their counter tops and this grade of copper can have dangerous chemical coatings. (The same can be said for galvanized sheet metal that is used in ductwork)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Oh crap, I ordered a copper top table from Century. Never thought of that issue. It looked real pretty to me. For what I am paying for it I really wouldn't want to worry about it getting damaged easily.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:52PM
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I'm wondering how a copper table will wear with regular use. I saw one at Arhaus Furniture. They are waxed I believe. I thought it would be quite sturdy and being it's variegated it wouldn't show every scratch, stain, etc.

my 2 kids ( 6 and 4) would be using it regularly...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:48PM
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We have a coffee table with a partial copper top. It has survived cats, beer, the cleaning lady, and a bunch of other attacks.

I polish it occasionally with cheapo furniture polish, wash it with 409 or similar cleaner when it gets dirty.

It's a deep coppery brown and has been that way for several years.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 5:36PM
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We have owned a copper table for about 20 years. Still looks good and it's in our family room.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:50AM
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