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topic 9770

How to oxidate copper pipe?


I am currently making copper wind chimes and would like to know how to speed up the green oxidation color. I currently have them hanging in a barrel and then I daily spray a light salt solution over them. They have begun to turn the green color, but it is a very slow process.

Thank you for your help

Bill Bivings
- Stockton, California, USA


I was cleaning my copper tubing on my deck (What a nightmare!) I sprayed it with a solution of one pint of vinegar and 3 Tablespoons of salt. (By the way, this works great along with fine 0000 steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] to scrub.) Don't use water if you have an area that will stain like my wood deck. Just spray on and wipe off with a damp cloth.

I sprayed it on one area and was unable to get back to it right away and it turned real green in a day or so.

Keep in mind that my copper was pretty black when I started so I don't think this would work on shiny copper. However, from my experience my outside copper blackens pretty quick if it doesn't have any copper polish on it so you shouldn't have any problem. (Use denatured alcohol to wipe off all the polish)

My challenge is to protect the copper with a coating to keep it copper color. So far everything I have used is allowing the copper to turn slightly black under the coating. Any ideas would be welcome.

J. Mast
- Madison, Wisconsin, USA


Did you ever find out how to keep the copper in it's shiny copper color. I have made a few garden sculptures for vines and want them to remain in their "new" color. I wondered about spray shellac or varnish?

Jean Eason
- Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA

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