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The chemical process by which a patina forms or is deliberately induced is called patination, and a work of art coated by a patina is said to be patinated.
Steaming foods or using soap on a wok or other dishware could damage the patina and possibly allow rust.
In geology and geomorphology, the term "patina" is used to refer to discolored film or thin outer layer produced either on or within the surface of a rock or other material by either the development of a weathering rind within the surface of a rock, the formation of desert varnish on the surface of a rock, or combination of both.
It also refers to development as the result of weathering of a case-hardened layer, called "cortex" by geologists, within the surface of either a flint or chert nodule.
The word "patina" comes from the Latin for "shallow dish".
Figuratively, patina can refer to any fading, darkening or other signs of age, which are felt to be natural or unavoidable (or both).