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Pressed Tin vs. Punched Tin: What is the Difference?

The terms "pressed tin" and "punched tin" are often used by those in the metal business or the home improvement industry but may not carry a great deal of meaning with the public. The two expressions both refer to decorative tin, but cannot be used interchangeably. Let us look at both pressed tin and punched tin to gain and understanding of their differences in hopes of increasing your awareness of what the terms mean.

What is Pressed Tin?

When one refers to pressed tin, they are usually discussing large and thin sheets of tin featuring a decorative pattern of some sort. This pattern is usually created by placing the metal in a special mold and literally pressing it to create the desired imprint effect.

Pressed tin is often used on home exteriors or indoors on large tin items. A tin wall or ceiling, for instance, may be made of pressed tin. The process of pressing tin can also be used for smaller items, but more often than not when one refers to a piece of pressed tin they are mentioning a larger item.

Although pressing can create an impressive pattern, the nature of the process does not lend itself to tremendous details. It is a wonderful way to create a spellbinding effect on a larger area, but it is not well suited for use on smaller items. That is punched tin's domain.

What is Punched Tin?

Punching is means of decorating an item made of tin by hammering a pattern into it. This was often done by using a hammer and a nail or other similar item. Today, master artisans still create attractive punched tin items using this technique. Punching tin allows for incredibly detailed effects and can be absolutely stunning when done by an expert.

In most cases, punched tin is used with smaller items than is its pressed counterpart. That is because it would simply take too much work and effort to perform this kind of work on a larger area. This tradition has been attacked somewhat due to automation, but in most cases a punched tin item will be a decorative accessory or some sort. Examples include mirrors featuring punched tin frames or ornate cases featuring a carefully punched pattern. If holes through the tin are part of a punching design, the result is often referred to a pierced tin.

Understanding the difference between pressed and punched tin can make many explanations of home improvement projects clearer to the non-expert. Most novices do not know the difference between the two types of tin patterning.

Now that you have had a chance to review these two tin types, you will have no problem visualizing the difference between a pressed ceiling and a punched photo frame. Hopefully, you can now draw a clear distinction between punched tin and pressed tin.

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