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"How to Patina Copper"

"The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals"
by Hughes & Rowe
from Abe Books

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Modern Masters Green Patina

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I would like to know the fastest way to age copper without using chemicals. And if I have to use chemicals what is the best product to create patina on copper and where can I get it in the New Orleans, Metairie, LA area? Thanks, Tara

Tara Rabalais
- Chalmette, Louisiana


Hi, Tara. "Patina on copper" is the topic of dozens of letters here, so can search the site to get a lot of people's different perspectives; but if you want a very organized presentation on all the different colors and how to get them, you could look for "The Colouring, Bronzing & Patination of Metals" by Richard Hughes and Michael Rowe next time you're at the library =>

Good luck!

But if you are looking for the blue-green patina associated with aged copper, probably the easiest way is to brush on a commercial patinating solution.

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

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Liberon Steel Wool

Copper Tubing

I am trying to put a green patina finish on copper tubing. My question, is it normal for the copper tubing to turn very dark when the solution is applied?

I cleaned the copper with steel wool =>
then washed with muriatic acid =>
and rinsed off.

The patina did appear but am unsure about the very dark copper.

Jeff Rodkey
- Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

sidebar 2001

Why do copper domes and the statue of Liberty turn green and not black as they weather?

Natalie Hake
- St. Louis, Missouri


Because the corrosion products of copper exposed to this environment are green rather than black, Natalie. I think you'll find that copper turns brown first, then green over time.

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


Do the Prismacolor markers [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] create a nice red color on copper? I used Liver of Sulphur [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] to make the flowers black, the second part is to use acrylic paint the closest possible in color to the metal(the black color after the liver sulfur or the copper color?); and then use the color pencils in layers.
Thank you.

Dolores Lago
Teaching/special ed. - Naperville, Illinois

September 22, 2008

Believe it or not, "EASY OFF" oven cleaner sprayed on a clean copper surface will blacken it as it dries. Use more coats as needed.
If you are making Mission style hardware, you need to get quite dark. several coats will be needed. I liked three.

W. Kimball Englehart
- Lancaster, California

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