Copper corner guards are attractive, durable ways to protect hallway pillars and wall corners inside buildings from potential damage due to heavy traffic. They provide an elegance and warmth that steel or aluminum cannot. Copper guards are typically only 1/8′ thick, so they will not stick out into the hall or walkway and catch on employees’ clothing. Copper corner guards install easily with either screws or rivets, or sometimes with long strips of adhesive on the back side. Be sure to wear gloves during the installation in case the back edges are sharp. Once installed, they will provide years of protection. Copper works very well with rich wood interiors, but it can blend with modern spaces as well.
For offices looking to capitalize on the current trend of steampunk, copper is a great way to go. Steampunk is the trend of Victorian-era inspired designs, whether it be for machinery or clothing. Designs like those done by H.G. Wells are typical of steampunk. To make copper corner guards look old, they can be etched with a pattern and then antiqued by applying some black acrylic paint. Then simply wipe off the excess paint leaving the black paint in the etching. When trends change again, the copper can, too. A good cleaning with a metal paste or liquid cleaner should be able to remove the black paint and clean the copper back to looking new again. Then, just maintain the copper as usual.
Corner guards are usually readily available in heights ranging from 24′ to 48′. Many companies will custom build copper corner guards to fit any wall height and at any angle. Copper is strong but it is also very malleable and can be angled easily. Copper can be lacquered to prevent the tarnishing that occurs over time, and also provide some scratch protection ability.
Copper is easily cleaned with commercial metal cleaners, or by using some of history’s favorite home cleaners for a greener option. A tablespoon of salt to one cup of vinegar makes a great cleaner. Apply the vinegar mixture to the copper and rub gently, then rinse and buff dry with a clean, soft cloth. Lemons can also transform into good copper cleaners. Cut the lemon in half and apply salt to it. Rub the cut side gently on the copper corner guards, then rinse and buff. A cleaning paste of equal parts of lemon juice, salt, and baking soda makes an effective copper cleaner as well. Regardless of what is used, once clean, a polish with some beeswax will give a great luster to the copper.
If the copper corner guards came with a protective lacquer cover, all that is needed is to wash periodically with gentle soap and water, then rinse and buff dry. Metal cleaners can work too well and end up removing the lacquer.
Copper corner guards are a cost-effective way to beautify an office and protect wall corners for years to come. Copper is also a recyclable metal, so it can be green-friendly as well.