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topic 40020

How to do "oil rubbed" blackened finish on beaten copper sink?


A discussion started in 2006 but continuing through 2019

2006

Q. How do I put an "oil rubbed" finish or blackened bronze finish on a beaten copper sink?

JESSE TAYLOR
HOBBYIST - BIRMINGHAM, Alabama


2006

A. Hi, Jesse.

The easiest way to apply a patina is simply to brush on a patinating solution. You can find patina solution in brown and other colors [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], and some may be the tone you seek.

Real oil rubbed bronze is achieved by applying a brown oxidizing solution to copper, then buffing away the patina from the corners and wear points, bringing back the copper look there. A "living" finish will continue to wear to brightness at high points and darken where there is no handling, but most people seem to prefer to clear coat the item when it looks the way they want it to. More about how to do oil rubbed bronze can be found on letter 34482. Achieving the burnished look, with wear points a lighter tone and recessed areas a darker tone, may take some skill and practice. Good luck!

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


2006

A. Jesse, I am a little confused. Which is it? You can do one or the other. "oil rubbed" is usually brown to dark brown while "blackened" is just that.

adv.
My company can provide you the answer to either one in the form of chemical patinas or solvent dyes. Please contact me for more information. See our link below.

Barry Feinman

Barry Feinman
BarrysRestoreItAll
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California
barrysrestoreitall



2007

Q. I'm trying to achieve an oil rubbed look on black flat painted hardware for kitchen cabinets that were originally brass looking with porcelain center pieces. Now they look too new and I'm trying to get that distressed age look.Any suggestions and do they need to be sealed with a flat polyurethane also to not have a shiny appearance. Thank you, Becky

Becky Fielden
- Maryville, Tennessee


Hammered Copper Paint

2007

A. Real oil rubbed bronze is achieved by copper plating, then applying a brown patina, then buffing away the patina from the corners and wear points, bringing back the copper look there, Becky. If you are starting with black paint, you can't actually patina it. However, you can apply decorative copper paint, and achieve the burnished look, with wear points a lighter tone and recessed areas a darker tone, by repainting everything but the wear points black. It may take some skill and practice. Once you have close to the look you seek, a polyurethane "matte" topcoat is probably a good idea.

These sinks may (or may not) have had UV-cured or radiation cured topcoats, which are probably not practical for home owners to apply. I say that as preface to saying that the replacement topcoat may not be as hard and durable. You can try a do-it-yourself coating like an epoxy or polyurethane but these may discolor. Maybe a thinner top coat like Everbrite [a finishing.com supporting advertiser], repeated every few months, might leave a more natural look. Good luck.

Regards,

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



Scalding coffee turned copper sink milky-white

September 3, 2010

Q. The caterer at my wedding disposed of an urn of scalding coffee in my lovely hammered copper sink. The bottom of the sink now has a milky-whitish appearance. I am assuming that the sink had been treated with something. Hours worth of scrubbing with Brasso, Barkeepers Friend, and other products have not removed the milky-white film. Is there anything I can do? This is a recently-purchased historic home and I am heartsick about this. I would be so grateful for your insight. Thank you,

Barbara Willis
Homeowner - Phoenix, Arizona, USA


September 11, 2010

A. Barbara,
I think you are correct in assuming your sink has a protective coating. Apparently the coating could not withstand high temperatures. If you could find out who the mfg. of the sink is you could inquire what type of coating was used, i.e. solvent based, latex based. The next step is to decide how to repair the damage. As you probably figured out by now, the cleaners you used are meant to clean metal, and don't have the ability to penetrate the coating. Metal sculptors are good at restoring copper and brass, perhaps there is a good one in your area.

Mark Baker
process engineer - Malone, New York


A. Hi. When wood furniture gets white stains the explanation is usually that the hot water or steam formed a milky emulsion with the lacquer top coat. Almost always it can be completely or substantially removed with dry heat (iron with towel, hair dryer, hot air gun) which vaporizes the water back out of the emulsion (see Topic 10275 for hundreds of success stories). Whether this has any applicability to your copper sink I can't say ... but please let us know!

Regards,

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



To minimize your searching efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we've combined some threads into the dialog you're viewing. Please forgive any resultant repetition or failures of chronological order.



Re-Antiquing copper kitchen sink, range hoods, backsplashes

January 17, 2011

Q. My kitchen sink is hammered raw copper, it has a beautiful brown 'antiqued' look finish, like an old penny. However, I have somehow managed to cause the double bowl bottoms of this 'high maintenance' sink to turn shiny copper like a new penny. I understand they will probably return to the brown old penny color, in time, but is there any suggestions on how to speed up this process? I've heard of the Jax Brown product which is hazmat, and also note the comments on Liver of Sulphur... but just not sure what to do, without making things worse. Help! Below is a BEFORE photo of this sink.

56537

Leslie Thornton
Home owner - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA


January 17, 2011

A. Hi, Leslie. Salt and acids like lemon juice or vinegar are bad, as well as all abrasive cleansers like Ajax or Comet. So I fear that normal occasional scrubbing will frequently be removing the patina.

Maybe you should consider your sink as much an art product as a utility item, and practice reapplying a patina, as opposed to searching for a one-time solution that you can do "without making things worse". Any form of sulfur, whether it be eggs, liver of sulphur, or whatever, should help it turn brown quicker. Some readers claim that dandruff shampoos with selenium sulfide will cause copper to brown up; I personally don't know if that's true, but if it is, that would be a good "soap" to clean it with.

Good luck.

Regards,

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


January 30, 2011

adv.
Leslie, our company sells a kit called Copper Patina Repair Kit just for this problem. It also comes with brown wax for maintenance. Good luck

Barry Feinman

Barry Feinman
BarrysRestoreItAll
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California
barrysrestoreitall



Refinishing antique "rubbed" solid brass bathroom sinks

January 18, 2010

Q. After removing the finish, what will the sink look like and how and what finish can I use to not only restore the rubbed, antique look but what epoxy can I use to protect the finish?

54121

Ricardo Lugo
home owner - Stockton, California



January 19, 2010 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I have a copper sink from Mexico which I love. It is hammered as an "aged copper finish". The hammer dents are darker that the surrounding areas. I also have hard water and the neutralizer was low when the sink was installed. I have some hard water formations and some of the darker spots have come off the sink bottom. How can I get that darkness back into the dents and how can I preserve the finish especially since I have now had the water neutralized and the hard water spots are no longer happening.

Kathy Gant
home owner - Flanders, New Jersey



November 26, 2011

Q. I made a kitchen table with legs and stretchers out of 1" dia. copper pipe. Is there an oil type finish I can put on matte finished / brushed copper?
I don't want a hard finish and I want to be able to easily touch it up. A little uneven wear pattern is OK.
Thanks
Becky

Becky Davis
- Carmel, California


November 28, 2011

A. Hi, Becky.

Oil rubbed bronze is a "living" finish that meets your requirement. If you want to preserve a bright appearance instead, you could try sodium benzotriazole which is a copper preservative. Good luck.

Regards,

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



September 24, 2012

Q. HELP! I have an oil rubbed bronze hammered sink that I used copper cleaner on it and it took the oil rubbed finish off! Is there something I can buy to restore the color?!

Doris Bertsch
- Minot, North Dakota USA


September 24, 2012

A. Hi Doris. If you read through the previous discussion you will see that there are patina solutions available to restore the color; and you can apply an automotive clearcoat over them to protect the color from easily wearing off. But while simply putting color back on a sink is fairly easy, getting it to look aesthetically pleasing may not be. So you might see if there is a local artist or craftsperson experienced in this. Good luck.

Regards,

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



April 27, 2016 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I have an antiqued copper range hood and back splash for the range, I think it was done on about 1963. Anyway, we put on a new granite countertop and had to take the backsplash down. I've cleaned it, but really needs to be re-antiqued. Any suggestions?

56537-2a  56537-2b

Jax Brown

Brass Darkening Solution
from Rockler

or

Bonnie Tarasek
Homeowner - Turin, New York usa


October 25, 2016

A. Bonnie,

Birchwood and Jax as well as a few others make specific patina finishing compounds that may meet your needs. They do take some skill and experience to use correctly, but used properly and with proper prep before application should do just what you need.

www.birchwoodtechnologies.com/store/Decorative-Antiquing.html

www.ishor.com/metal-cleaning/metal-oxidizers-and-colorants

everettsteel.com/metal-finishes-patinas-c-220_223.html

--Rama

Rama Shunn
- Woodinville, Washington USA


March 11, 2017

A. For all applications I recommend using wax to protect color and prevent from stains.

Nora James
- Los Angeles, California



September 26, 2019

Q. Purchased a beautiful hammered copper kitchen sink. I love the dark patina and I know that wiping it dry helps the inadvertent bright spots dark again, however, I would like to figure out how I could force this action to occur. We have a spot that is very dark - which was the result of 'something' left in the sink - but I cannot determine what it was and have been unable to recreate the reaction.

40020-1

I love our 'live finish' but sometimes being able to correct a bright spot would be a great benefit!

Tj iannello
Do-er - Litchfield Park Arizona usa



September 29, 2019

thumbsdownScanning through this thread explains why copper is a totally unsuitable material for a working sink.
Any patination is a thin weak layer and easily worn away. A bright polished finish is even worse and rapidly develops dark spots.
The problem seems to be confined to the US; the rest of the world uses ceramic or stainless steel (not the fashionable clear glass that shows every minuscule mark).

PS. If you must have a metal sink, don't omit to connect it to electrical ground.

Geoff Smith
- Hampshire UK


September 2019

thumbs up sign  In order to not mislead readers from elsewhere, we should note that copper sinks remain a rarity in the US, though. Stainless steel and ceramic are most common here, too. Many are also 'solid surface' such as Corian, which, being the same material as the countertops, allows for one piece construction.

Regards,

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

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