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Old 10th April 2008, 02:02 PM   #1
JoshK is offline JoshK  Canada
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Default Copper patinization?

Has anyone ever experimented with patinas on copper? Like the oil rubbed bronze look?

I did some research and bought "Liver of Sulphur" aka Potassium Sulfide. I bought the rock kind. I heated the water, warm to the touch and dissolved the rock turning the water yellow. I submerged the copper. It definitely turned the copper sheeting dark, but I am not getting the look that I was expecting.

The patina is really flakey and often rubs off quite easily. Its also a very bluish black, not the brownish black I was expecting. I was hoping the patina would be a bit more even and you could lightly sand it to show some hairline copper through the blackish patina yielding the oil rubbed bronze finish I am so found of.

I am using this on "copper shingles". These are 12" x 12", ~1/8" thick copper sheets. Could it be that they are not pure enough? They look as much copper as copper pipes, etc. This is suppose to work on bronze too and bronze is less copper than this has to be.

Anyone tried this and had better results? Any tips to share?
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Old 10th April 2008, 02:49 PM   #2
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I think you'd be better off getting a commercial "patina" compound, rather than using simple chemicals.

When I was doing an antique radio restoration, I wanted to restore an antique look to a brass part that had to be cleaned up. I used a patina compund designed to be used on the copepr foil that they use to make stained glass.

You can find patina compounds at stained glass art supply stores - maybe even at big hobby places like Hobby Lobby?

The store I went to had maybe a dozen different patinas, different colors from black to bright green.

The stuff I got worked quite well. I sealed it afterwards with a clear lacquer...

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Old 10th April 2008, 02:55 PM   #3
JoshK is offline JoshK  Canada
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I found a site that had a number of patina formulas for copper. With a wide variety of finishes. I will try some of their variations and also see if I can't find a patina compound. I don't know of any art stores in my area but will look in the yellow pages.

I am doing this all on scrap pieces so I don't commit to the chassis yet. The amp that this is for is an E-linear amp, so its a slight coincidence that you replied to my post.

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Old 10th April 2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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How about brass plating or maybe gold leaf? I tried silver plating some copper before, but it tarnished a lot faster than silver alone.
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Old 10th April 2008, 03:45 PM   #5
JoshK is offline JoshK  Canada
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Not sure what you mean. I am striving to obtain an oil rubbed copper finish to copper sheets I have and am using for the top plate of my amp.
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Old 11th April 2008, 04:02 PM   #6
JoshK is offline JoshK  Canada
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I asked this question on a forum inhabited by a number of pro's in the plating industry and I got a reply that my copper plate was likely not clean enough and suggested methods for cleaning to ensure a clean surface.

I will post the progress I make, if any, for others' etification. I am willing to invest some time experimenting because this is a finish I would like to use in multiple projects, not just this one.
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Old 11th April 2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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When Lee Iacoca was redoing Ellis Island they had to redo the roofs of many of the buildings. Problem was that the verdigris is difficult to replicate --and has been mentioned -- many of the commerical processes flake -- they were able to purchase a copper roof from a building that AT&T was renovating.

I wonder how they fixed up Lady Liberty a few years ago. It would be bad if she had copper-brown arm-pits.
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