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topic 12667

Antique green patina recipe for brass?


Q. I am trying to get an antique green color patina on brass using a recipe that simply calls for
1 gallon water
8 oz. nickel ammonium sulphate
8 oz. sodium thiosulphate
"simmered" at 160 degrees until desired color is obtained. I used a hotplate, a pyrex container, and a thermometer; everything seems in order.

I got an icky brownish-black patina. I started with cleaned (sanded and pumiced) brass. Any thoughts or better recipe suggestions?


Amy L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
jewelry - Brooklyn, New York


Q. I'd like to know how to do this, too!

Kerry F [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Fort Knox, Kentucky


A. I just found a patina but have not tried it out. I think it should work since I know ammonia was a main ingredient of a green patina used in my high school metals class.

2 parts white vinegar
1.5 parts non-detergent ammonia
.5 parts non-iodized salt

Good luck!

Becky K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Vonore, Tennessee


Q. Sir,

I need a technique to make polished Brass to Old Green Brass finish. And also any method to make finish to last?

Gurmeet S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hardware and metal exports - Noida, UP, India


Q. Hi-
Has anyone gotten the green result?
if so....was it the technique w/the ammonia....or another way....

Jerry M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Iowa City, Iowa


A. For a green patina on brass or bronze use a mixture of cupric nitrate (1 teaspoon to 8 oz of distilled water). Heat up the brass with a torch until water just boils off of it and spray or dab on the mixture with a natural bristle brush.

Dan R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Los Angeles, California


A. I tried Cat Litter (non clumping) [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] and white vinegar, enough to wet the litter through ... this was with copper and it turned a beautiful greenish blue.

Eva Hill
- Franklin, Tennessee

February 5, 2008

Q. I'm trying to achieve various browns using the fume/vapor patina method. Are there any other patineers using this technique out there?

José Ventura
I'm a patineer - Koelenhof, Western Cape, South Africa

Jax Green Patina

April 25, 2008

A. Go to: for pre-made patina solutions and chemicals to make your own.

You can get a pretty good green-blue on brass or copper with: copper sulfate, ammonium chloride (or plain clear liquid ammonia) and distilled water. Adjusting the amount of copper sulfate will adjust the amount of blue you get.
Am. Chlor. will impart a yellow green, while ammonia will give more of a blue.

Victoria LaCosse
- Sanford, Michigan

November 5, 2011

A. Hello everybody!
I make it myself from 7 different compounds, but may you watch the video. It works great, the only thing is that you may use ONLY A VERY LITTLE AMOUNT of the cream... You don't have to buy it, if you write me a letter I can send you the ingredients... I'm selling the product on eBay. It makes a greenish-brownish patina, color depends on the alloy. Hope it helps. Again this is not suppose to be an ad, I can give you the formula for free, I've been experimenting for 3 months on this one and it works for sure.

David Winkler
- Ritzing, Burgenland, AUSTRIA

September 20, 2015

A. Here's what I did.
1. Give brass an ammonia bath, let dry.
2. Give brass a heavy salt water bath, let dry.
3. Heat oven to 350. Line a pan with non stick foil. Dab on some Nair. That's right - the hair removal stuff.
4. Bake letters till dry.
5. Repeat process above if not enough green for your taste.

My mailbox letters are now an aged, green color.

D. Rogers
- Grapevine, Texas, USA

September 2015

thumbs up signHi D. Thanks! ... but I think people should use an old toaster oven in the garage if they want to try stuff like this. Putting materials of this nature into your food oven is not a good idea.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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