Patina Copper

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Forum topic by agallant posted 02-17-2012 01:36 AM 4077 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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551 posts in 2854 days

02-17-2012 01:36 AM

I am making a table with a copper top. I would like to give the copper a green patina. I can find formulas on the internet where I need to buy this chemical and that chemical but can’t find anything good. Anyone have any suggestions on a kit that I can buy or a simple formula?

11 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 02-17-2012 01:45 AM

You make a solution of vinegar, salt and ammonia. Mix 1 cup of vinegar, 2-4 T salt (this is not an exact science) and maybe a quarter cup ammonia.
Does your copper have any laquer on it ? REMOVE that first.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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2600 posts in 2965 days

#2 posted 02-17-2012 01:48 AM

Beer will work
Don’t pour the beer on the copper, just drink it and pee on the copper. Human urine is used by the pros when making repairs on antique copper roofs, etc.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2455 days

#3 posted 02-17-2012 01:51 AM

I have a friend in Indiana that does metal art sculpture. He recommends urine to give the copper a patina. You can also add heat and salt to give different results.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2345 days

#4 posted 02-17-2012 01:57 AM

I am drawing the line. I am not tarnishing any of my copper.
Aren’t you all saying the same thing. So take your poison.
Happy tarnishing.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2329 days

#5 posted 02-19-2012 02:05 AM

Check out for patina solutions.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2254 days

#6 posted 03-07-2012 02:42 PM

I used to do a lot of copper sculpture about 20 years ago. Keep in mind that most of the fast aging processes are a bit fragile. They may be dusty or flakey. This is because, unlike a natural aging process, your surface penetration is next to nothing. This is why an artificial patina needs a seal coat of some type. I usually used laquer.

Generally speaking, the faster a patina is formed, the more fragile it is. For indoor pieces this may be a non-issue and it’s perfectly valid to fast-age and seal. For outdoor pieces, I looked at the patina process as simply getting a head start on the natural aging. Outdoors got no sealer of any kind. You let the copper go in its own direction and it changes over time.

So INdoors you can get some really striking color variations and “freeze” them with a seal coat. You can get deep, rich browns, the traditional green or green-blue, even reds. OUTdoors with no seal coat you’re going to get a more even coloration over the whole piece and it will be based on the environment. Typically, the outdoor copper goes green, but I’ve seen a couple pieces go more of a deep brown with streaks of green.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2854 days

#7 posted 03-07-2012 02:46 PM

I ended up grinding up salt to a really fine powder then putting it on the copper, covering it with cheese cloth and poring amonia over it. I wrapped it in plastic and let it sit for about three weeks. It came out pretty good but you are right, it is a bit flaky and will need a seal coat which I am fine with because it is an indoor peace.


View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3702 days

#8 posted 03-07-2012 04:34 PM

I recall solutions available in stained-glass supply stores for antiquing the copper foil.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 2972 days

#9 posted 03-07-2012 07:58 PM

My neighbor just built a new home witha copper roof section. She does NOT want it to age. Go figure!

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2854 days

#10 posted 03-08-2012 01:32 AM

Thanks for the advice everyone. Table salt ground up fine and Ammonia, put cheese cloth on it, wrapped it in syranwrap for about 3 weeks.

View zzzzdoc's profile


549 posts in 2971 days

#11 posted 03-12-2012 11:43 PM

Are you trying to have us believe that no peeing was involved??!!!!!??

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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