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How to preserve shiny copper roof appearance?

Q. Is there a way to keep a copper roof from oxidizing at all? I.e., is there any way to keep it in it's shiny copper-metallic appearance instead of turning green over time?

James Hurst
- Monroeville, New Jersey

A. A clear coat should do the job.

Simon Dupay
- Roseville, Minnesota

Brass Lacquers
on eBay or


(affil links)

A. Just any "clear coat" will not do the job, as most of the darkening of copper (in its initial stages) occurs due to exposure to UV rays in sunlight. At a minimum, the clear coat should contain a UV inhibitor and an under-film corrosion inhibitor. There are a few that are made (and have been tested) specifically for use on copper (and brass), but due to having to be non-commercial in my reply, I cannot mention the brand names. Regardless of which brand used, keeping the copper shiny will eventually become a maintenance issue, especially if it is an outdoor item. There truly is no "permanent" solution to this problem - but only having to deal with it every 8-12 years is better than year-in, year-out.

John Steins
- Brevard, North Carolina

Ed. note: letter 25188 has additional info/specs on clear coats for copper.

Q. I am putting in a bar in and I'm going to put down a pure copper sheet below a thick piece of glass but there are finger prints on it and I can't figure out how to clean it.

Genevieve Evans
confused and in need of help - Eagle Point, Oregon

Q. I have a copper roof over a bay window (almost 5 years old). I would like to restore it back to its original color and shine. Is there a product that will do this? I've tried Brasso [on eBay or Amazon] and Twinkle brass & copper [affil links], neither works well. Also, after it is back to the original copper finish, is there a clear coating that I should use? Thank you.

Denise Thomas
consumer - Spotsylvania, Virginia

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