Zinc is a naturally anti-bacterial counter and tabletop cladding. It has been popular for these uses in Europe for scores of years. In recent years it has caught on in America I think more for it's look than it's function. In use zinc reacts with acids to form what some might consider discoloration but the modern sensibility sees this patina as something authentic and beautiful.
My client presented me with a photograph of a zinc table that was, I thought, rather amateurishly distressed. Together we designed a table that would fit well in her large kitchen and present itself with dignity and class befitting the elegant old house in which it was to reside.
We decided to start with an un-distressed surface and let her table age and discolor in a way that reflected it's use as the centerpiece for regular gatherings.
As a classically trained furniture designer I presented a 19th century embellishment of swags of brass tacks to dress up what might have otherwise been just a utilitarian look.