Working with copper

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Forum topic by pashley posted 07-05-2008 03:06 PM 1135 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1044 posts in 3892 days

07-05-2008 03:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: copper

I maybe using sheet copper in an upcoming project, in which I will hammer it. I can recall doing some copper hammering way back in shop class in the 70s, and we applied some sort of liquid, that would quickly blacken the copper. You would then use some fine steel wool to rub off all that black – except in the recessed areas – giving the copper an aged look, and adding depth.

Anyone know what that liquid is?

-- Have a blessed day!

7 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3888 days

#1 posted 07-05-2008 08:26 PM

I understand that traditionally some of the copper church roofs of Europe were coated with mare’s urine to give it the classic green colour. There is something about the pH of mare’s urine (and presumeably not stallion’s) that etches the copper to the desired colour.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3792 days

#2 posted 07-05-2008 08:35 PM

Liver of Sulphur found at jewelry supply stores, or a product called JAX.

You can also use hot baking soda and water solution, wine, soft water, coffee,

and of course urine does work if you’ve the mind to do so.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4071 days

#3 posted 07-05-2008 08:38 PM

Humm think I would not have enjoyed the job in Europe of collecting mare’s urine. I wonder how they found out that little tidbit.

Patrick – I think I’d try Mike’s suggestion. Probably safer to, you won’t have to find a mare or figure out how to catch her urine without getting stepped on or worse. Yuk!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3990 days

#4 posted 07-05-2008 10:03 PM

Go to a stained glass shop/craft store/art store. They have a number of patinas that can be applied to copper. I have some out in the shop. I’m just too lazy to go look for it.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3792 days

#5 posted 07-05-2008 10:43 PM

Well Betsy who says ya gotta find a mare? lol

Just remember any other way than the natural way in the end will begin to flake off a little.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4029 posts in 4239 days

#6 posted 07-06-2008 12:28 AM

Google “Patination chemicals”. Here is a good link
for leaf and patination chemicals that David Marks endorses.

The liver of sulfur will blacken the copper.

If you want the green hue try this link.

I found that is you have a Blick art supply store nearby, they have the full line of “Sophisticated Finishes” as well as the Liver of Sulfur.

Apparently the urine trick works with standard GI issue pee as well. Roofers that wanted to cure up copper flashing or roofing tiles would donate in a communal bucket and treat the days work at shift end.
Ammonia – where a good steak goes when it dies.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3892 days

#7 posted 07-06-2008 12:29 AM

Wow, thanks, guys!

-- Have a blessed day!

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