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Looking for Formula for Rust Patina

Looking for formulas for patinas especially rust

Barry Steinhorn
custom paint and chemical


If that don't beat all. 18 years, 2 months, 4 days, 19 hours (but who's counting) in the plating business and this is the tanks (sic) I get! Someone wants to undo everything that platers do and make rust.

Okay, Okay, how about antique on copper from the Chemical Formulary, 1941:

tom pullizzi monitor   tom pullizi signature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania


I am seeking not patina formulas, but photo or actual samples of patinas available from commercial foundries.....I'm working on a bronze for a church commission (design phase) & the building committee wants to see what is available out there, as well as information on long term care for the patina.

My only guidance from the church so far is that it must be a "bright" finish...not drab in color..not "depressing like old bronzes".....

The choice of foundry for casting of my design may depend on patina experience & variety of finishes/colors.

Anybody want to bite.....

Anthony Quickle
-Brunswick, Georgia

I am trying to achieve the look of copper roofing without the cost. I was wondering if you know of a copper paint that could be painted over new metal roofing to achieve this look.

I know that these paints are made and can be used on an exterior and will produce their own patina in time but I'm not sure how well the paint will hold up. I appreciate any help or advice!

Wendy Farrington
- Baldwinsville, New York


The Interior Motives TV show on the discovery channel had a brief piece about a material that could be painted onto most any metal and would result in an antiqued copper look - nice patina & all that. We (my wife & I) can't seem to find it anywhere -- Any of you folks able to provide a hint?

Mitch & Kathy

WM. R. Mitchel

I visited a factory that applied a blue-green striated paint to aluminum rain gutters and downspouts to make them look like patinized copper, and the effect wasn't too bad (especially considering that most people today have never seen a copper gutter and don't know what it looks like anyway). But I don't know the brand name of the paint.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

I have also been looking for recipes for patinas and finishes to use on hand forged steel items. If anyone has any suggestions (websites, books, magazines, etc...) I would really appreciate the help. Thanks.

Jennifer Moews
- Montrose, Colorado

I am in search of general and specific information concerning the patinization of welded bronze for a piece commissioned for the entrance to the Jackson County Jail. It is a large, abstract, tubular bronze sculpture scheduled for installation the first week of August--. Any information regarding references or resources, i.e. books, publications, websites, or individuals or companies would be greatly appreciated.


Reed Fahnestock
- kansas city, Missouri


Thanks for the redirection to the bookshelf...I think this can solve my problem, but I have a new one...Is there a listing somewhere of production (1000-1500 pieces with a quick turn around) sandcast foundries (non-ferrous) that handle "art" production, not just industrial applications?


Anthony Quickle [returning]
-Brunswick, Georgia

I had a large antiqued bronze ornament repaired and would like to cover the new shiny welded bit. The patina is a dark mottled brown (a new piece but obviously treated to look antique) but I have no idea of what to use to get that color. Would really appreciate some help. Thanks.

Chris Lister

I'm looking for a chemical recipe for patinating copper to achieve a green color.

thank you

duane bartok
studio - san diego California

Hi, Duane. I sound like a broken record, but when talking about patinizing to 'dark mottled brown' or 'green', words are somewhat confusing and, of course, a picture is worth a thousand words. "The Colouring, Bronzing & Patination of Metals" [adv: this book on eBay, Amazon, AbeBooks] , which includes hundreds of color plates of these finishes and how to get them, is probably available in your library. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey




- SAN DIEGO California

Grit blast them and soak them in a dilute, 20% muriatic (pool acid) for a few minutes. spray rinse lightly and let hang outside. Mist them with a dilute salt solution a couple times a day. They should be solid red in 3 days. a clear polyurethane would be a decent choice.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

I am looking for commercial bronzing pastes. The pastes are used on architectural and statuary metalwork. Would appreciate address/telephone of company selling the pastes. Thanks, hannah

Hannah Agee

Ed. note: Try Modern Options Metallic Surfacers: Copper

Hello! I have two large Plaster "roman" columns (about 8' tall) I want to add a patina to them... They're very porous and still unfinished... What is the best way to patinizing this material and make it durable? thanks, Melina

Melina Deya
- Miami, Florida

Please visit our Order Finishing Books Online and find the section on faux finishing.

tom pullizzi monitor   tom pullizi signature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania

I am traying to "patinize" clay figures.I want to give them a metal look. Copper, or iron or bronze. Any suggestion?. Please help meeeeeeeeeeeeee.

- Santiago, Chile

I'm interested on Patinas for my uncles in Guatemala. My grandfather started an old style brass foundry about 60 years ago and it is still running the way he started except for his unique ways. I remember staying all night feeding pine or oak fire wood to the brick built ovens. I also remember us crushing bricks to powder and then mixing it with a white chalking dust to build molds for statues in bee wax. Patinas, specially the chemicals are not available in Guatemala. Any formulas or premixed bottled patinas, burgundy, gray or any colors but green and brown. Could I get some help?


Carlos Salguero
- Ringgold, Georgia

I'm a hobbyist. I am looking for a commercially available product that turns copper into that green color within a reasonable time. I looked into my woodworking catalogs but could not find any products there.

James Apistolas
- Springfield, Virginia

To achieve a rust finish on mild steel or iron, brush on or otherwise apply muriatic acid [affil links] (use ventilation, produces nasty fumes). Let the acid sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse the piece completely with water. Let sit outside for a week to several months. I prefer longer as it provides a richer, more consistent finish. Apply a combination of boiled linseed oil [affil links] and paint thinner(approx 25% linseed oil) to the piece. This avoids the overly 'glossy' finish of polyurethane.

david pulte
- flower mound, Texas

I am trying to achieve the look of copper roofing without the cost. I was wondering if you know of a copper paint that could be painted over new metal roofing to achieve this look. I know that these paints are made and can be used on an exterior and will produce their own patina in time but I'm not sure how well the paint will hold up. I appreciate any help or advice!

Wendy Farrington(returning>
- Baldwinsville, New York

I am looking for interesting ways to patina blacksmith and carbon steel art work. I'm not particularly interested in rust if any one has any information to offer me -- your help will be greatly appreciated.

Glen Willis
- Choudrant, Lousiaina

There's a company in California Modern Options / Sophisticated Finishes [affil links] that sells an excellent line of faux metallic surfacers, tints, and patinations, including a beautiful rust finish. I've been using them to achieve nice finishes on the fiberglass and concrete sculptures I build semi-professionally. Check them out...available at most art supply houses.

Jon Grau
- Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The company ~ Modern Options / Sophisticated Finishes [affil links] sells its instant patina products. I used the Patina Green solution (Ammonium Chloride & Copper Sulphate) on my brass lamp to get an instant ~ and I do mean INSTANT ~ old green verdigris finish. The product is as easy to use as water, but take care to keep it off your skin. I got it only on my finger & thumb, and over the next few days the skin cracked & peeled. Intensive lotion therapy fixed it, but next time I'm wearing thicker gloves.

Oops, forgot to mention that Modern Options ALSO makes a quick, easy instant rust [affil links] finish (although I've never tried it, as I prefer the patina green).

Dana Nishimura
- West Linn, Oregon

When I worked for a metal fab company in Tucson, we used a product made locally known as Insta-Rust. Some wanted the "old" look on their products. We tried the stuff from Michael's and Home Depot and we liked the Insta-Rust better. A tip though, if you clean your metal very well with a 00 steel wool [on eBay or Amazon] pad or a wire wheel brush mounted on a grinder, the stuff will never come off. When you get the shade you want you just shoot it with clear. They even have stuff to cover non metal items with so you can rust them as well. I used the regular rust solution not following directions on the bottle but wire wheeling the metal after a good cleaning with thinner or vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon], and the metal rails looked like they were made of copper. Of course you shoot the stuff with a paint gun instead of spray bottle. It is all citric acid [on eBay or Amazon] based and safe. Age the metal by just spraying it with water after you get the shade of copper you need. Once again, I did not follow the directions and achieved this type of finish much to the client's delight. I would get it at Santa Rita Ornamental Supply in Tucson Arizona. Good Stuff!

Nash Alvarado
- Sun City, California

I have no answer for the published question however, I would like to ask how a strong light green patina can be achieved on copper, as I'm trying to make antique looking trellises.

Gerald H Johnson
- London, England

Curious. Could I get the patina effect by adding baking soda to copper soaking in water? Thanks for your prompt response.

Tricia Knox
- Nashville, Tennessee

I am a copper artist and I find that the easiest way to patinate copper is by using neat bleach [adv: bleach/sodium hypochlorite in bulk on eBay or Amazon] (original Domestos works best) and sponge it on to the copper. Make sure the copper is clean and dry first, and wait for the bleach to dry on the surface for 12 hours and apply more layers of bleach until you get the desired color. It usually achieves a light green patina, the more layers you use the lighter and more dense the patina.

Pamela Glew
- Brighton, England

A. Well, I am here looking up info on a product under the name of Chem-tech, on sale at eBay right now, many bottles for $35. But these bottles must be for model painting, as they are in 2 oz. size. They have several types of Metallic Sealers, I am assuming there would be a metalizer in there as well, then several types of Patina, shades, you know, and also some various types of Insta-rust.

I was reading of a similar product, I guess, for bigger projects, and the guy spoke of spraying your metals with a clear sealer first. I don't know if that would be everyone's 1st priority, I try to put the funk in shirts, jeans and clothes that I make and I was doubting it, but wondering if you could add a color fixative, or like the other fellow, use it on plastics or my own sculptures.

Look under the model painting section of any catalog or website, they really really get creative and a salesperson who cares could steer you in the right direction. Also Higher Paths does the most creative lawn and cabinetry I've ever seen, they have a you tube site, and wouldn't mind a call. Amazing color work.

Helen Stuart
- Brownwood, Texasa
March 28, 2017

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