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Antiquing copper accents on cedar coffee table without affecting cedar

(-----) 2007

Hi All,

I am building an artistic but functional outdoor coffee table out of cedar that has lots of copper inlays. Cedar table will be varathaned to protect it and then copper accents will be nailed to it using copper nails. I would then like to antique the copper to a brownish black aged look. How can this be done without affecting the wood if the solution gets on the wood? Also how can the copper then be protected so it can be used as a functional coffee table, ie: objects being placed on it without scuffing the patina, while preferably not having to mask the whole wood section, there will be lots of copper and not in straight patterns.

Thank you,

Kevin Coulter
Hobbyist - Kagel Canyon, California, USA

First of two simultaneous responses -- 2007

I am probably missing something here, but antique the copper and the nails before they are inlayed and after the first coat of varthane and then add the second and third coats of varthane. Note that the varthane will yellow in sunlight and with time.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses -- 2007

Hi Kevin,
Once you have the copper looking the way you want, apply a couple coats of my protectant and you'll be good to go for several years at a time.

Clint Bland
O'Fallon, Illinois


I don't want to pretreat the copper because I feel with all the hammering of the nails it will ruin the finish. One option I guess is to apply a brown/black patina after the copper has been inlaid and do it carefully, or possible use a black wax to achieve the effect. Don't want to varathane the copper either as it will show somewhat yellowish and chip off over time. The Shark solution should get me around that problem, so its just a matter of the best way to antique the copper once inlaid on the wood. Any more ideas would be appreciated, I will try and attach a sample pic to show what I am trying to duplicate.


Kevin Coulter
- Kagel Canyon, California, USA


Kevin, your on the right path about applying a patina after installation of the parts. We can set you up with the right patina which can apply with a q-tip or sponge to get the effect you want. Best

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

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