Definition: a surface appearance of something grown beautiful, especially with age or use, which adds value to an antique or collectible and should not be cleaned.
Patina: a surface appearance of something grown beautiful, expecially with age or use, which adds value to an antique, collectible or scarce and should not be cleaned, in some cases, and preserved in other cases.
I grew up in a farm/ranch environment on the edge of the Southern Nebraska Sand hills. Our neighbors to the east and south were miles away, those to the west were closer, yet our closest neighbor was a mile and a half away. It was the late 40's and early 50's and things were not plentiful. We ate well, had a warm house, a good home life, but not many extras.
Most of our toys were made from scrap wood and metal. I made a toy 'self propelled' grain harvester (combine) out of a 12" 4x4, a license plate folded 90 degrees for the header, two pair of large jar lids for the front wheels and a furniture swivel wheel for the rear. We recycled things long before recycling became 'cool'.
I have always liked hot rodding. I had scores of the early "Hot Rod" magazines when I was in high school, the ones that were about 3.5 x 7 inches, small magazines. I dreamed of doing such, yet didn't. As I grew older the skills of body work were not mine and the cost of painting discouraged me from 'restoring' older vehicles.
When I first saw a patina finish truck, then one big obstacle was removed. I appreciate the skill and labor required for a very nicely painted vehicle yet I have a preference for an original surface. I am not all that excited about the faux patina painted vehicles. To me faux is not foxy. So then the patina surface allows me to 'restore' an old vehicle, enjoy the tasks and become a small part of this hobby.
Today I was cleaning small external engine parts such as a solenoid, starter, regulator cap, for repainting. I was using a wire wheel brush and my drill motor. I find it very enjoyable to take a rusty item, wheel brush, sand, etch primer, paint it and make it look nearly new. As I was doing that today it reminded me of my youth.
My point is this. There are two very expensive items in the restoration process, upholstery and paint. That patina surfaces are now acceptable and all sorts of implanted seats will work in an old vehicle, those two items no longer prohibit a novice or one with somewhat limited resources from working with an old vehicle. My philosophy is to bolt off, fix or replace and bolt back on. That way the vehicle is never damaged for someone later who may prefer a finer result.
Often times, progress occurs when we step back a few paces and reevaluate the larger definitions of creativity and imagination.