copper, zinc, or walnut... very different, love them all.

secondcupJanuary 25, 2012

My samples just came in the mail so I'm excited to see what everyone thinks!! I can't decide which top should go on a few bakers carts in my house. Options are Zinc, Copper, or this Do it yourself Black Walnut (shown unfinished in my sample)

These carts typically push under a table in my kitchen or we have them out for homework stuff, etc but they are always partially visible. They are sort of junkie but I think a little topping change could dress them up a bit. So now that I changed one piece from Mahogany to stainless steel, I kiiiind of caught the countertop changing bug. The old stained maple bakers cart tops just don't cut it next to my new awesome stuff.

Which do you like with my current cabinet color and the metal pulls? Which looks good with the floor?

this one shows floor (same in bathroom and kitchen (one cart lives in bathroom as extra storage):

This shows with zinc:

This shows with copper:

This shows with the (still unfinished, how the sample came) Black Walnut

I totally don't have a design eye so I'd love any opinions.

oh.. ps. that mark on the cabinet is glue from a recent project... it didn't got well. Still working on how to get it off.. : /

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I like the maple tops that are on them with your cabs. It is hard to get perspective with the pics you posted. The maple would look brand new if you only sanded and oiled it.

If you take them off I would still sand and oil and use as cutting boards. The next choice would be the walnut. In the background of the one pic it looks like a dark wood is present. Also the floor would look good with the walnut.

I don't think you would like the metals as they patina to a great degree and one of the things you don't care for is aging of the maple.

Would love to see the carts in the context of your kitchen. You seem to have a wonderful space ! c

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:46AM
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I actually like the copper, but Trailrunner makes a good point. Will the copper still look like that, in a year? If so, then the copper would look great with the cabinets and floors :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Apparently copper will significantly "patina". Does anyone know what exactly patina on copper will look like? I am googling and there seems to be a huge variation.

I know the definition and that it means it will probably chemically react just hoping someone has a patina copper photo maybe?

The link below is where I read about coppers patina (also where I got samples):

Here is a link that might be useful: copper will patina...

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Can you clean the copper countertops? My mom used to clean her copper bottom pans, all the time, to keep them looking like new :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 5:32PM
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I'm a sucker for walnut. The copper competes against the yellow undertones of the maple and I'm just not feelin' the zinc. The walnut on the other hand speaks to the darker flecks in the maple and floor, plus kind of grounds the space. Yep... I'm voting walnut.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 5:34PM
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Re zinc:

I am thinking of having a zinc countertop and acquired some small samples (this is a DIY project). I was wondering about the "patina" issue. I set one sample over a small knot hole in my old floors in a much-used doorway about 18 months. It sees far more heavy use than any countertop might. About a month ago I took it up and cleaned it with water and BKF. No objectionable deep scratches were visible and the BKF cleaned off everything and (perhaps) added some uniformity to the fine scratches that covered the surface.

So far so good.

However, once before I set the sample down on the floor I got the idea to tap it sharply with the edge of the bottom of a root beer bottle. To my great surprise the zinc acquired a crease. I tried it several more times, with varying intensity and every time just the edge of the base of the bottle made a permanent, short (3/8ths inch, crease. These are quite visible.

This has lead to me consider acquiring a much bigger sample (24" X 24") to make a true working surface to make sure that the normal use in a kitchen doesn't result in the creases. I'm pretty sure I can avoid smacking the counters with bottles, but if it happens when you misjudge the distance with a soup can - well, that would turn me away from my project.

I strongly suggest you get a (big) sample and live with it, before choosing.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 5:46PM
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Circus Peanut

Copper patina, here you are:


after 1 year:

after 2 years:

after 4 years:

Both copper and zinc can be kept from developing a patina if you lacquer them. Depends on how you want to use the surface (for cutting?). I like any of the materials you're considering; hard to say without seeing the rest of the kitchen space.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 6:08PM
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the copper gets more beautiful with age. Love it!

I vote copper.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:44AM
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