Patinas

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Questions and Answers

What Technique Creates Colors And Patterns On Metal?

Question

“What is the technique that creates beautiful colors and patterns on metal? I would love to learn how to do it and how to preserve the color once it is achieved.”

Answer

What you are talking about sounds like a heat patina. It is also called “flame painting” “torch painting”  and probably something else too!  Heat patinas need to be protected with some form of varnish or sealant as the metal will eventually create its own patina, ruining yours.  There are a bunch of places to check out but, I’ll give you just a few to start you on your way: Jen Lowe’s Blogspot, Youtube video on flame painting on copper: Skip and Rachael Mathews which is a pretty good video on how to create color on copper.  I have a little bit on torch coloring too: (scroll way down the page) Nancy Hamilton.

Flame Painting Copper Colorists Skip & Racheal Mathews

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How Do I Keep Patina On Copper After Putting In Muriatic Acid?

Question

“I am getting a nice patina putting copper in muriatic acid. ( 10x 16 inch pieces or more). The problem is the patina looks great but may peel off. Any ideas?”

Answer

Holding a patina on…hmmm…The method used most often is sealing the patina with a product like Everbrite: ProtectaClear .  Some have also used Renaissance wax or car wax. The problem with all of these sealers is that they alter the color and intensity of the patina.  My next-to-last suggestion is to protect the patinated piece by bezel setting it or recessing it, into your piece of jewelry.  Now, for my final suggestion (drum roll):  learn to love the look of a flaking patina.  I know, I know – that’s a tough one – but, it is an option!

Now, for the really, really last suggestion:  don’t make the patina too thick.  I know, with liver of sulfur, you’re okay with a thin coating but, leave it in the solution too long and it flakes off.  Obviously, test all methods on scrap first!

I wish I could offer a plethora of interesting and creative solutions but, patinas are demanding little buggers.  I’m going to be experimenting with clear powder coating over patinas.  But, my suspicion is that the powder won’t stick to a patina. I will find out soon! Back to Table of Contents

What kind of sealant to use with a flaky patina.

8/31/16

Question

I am working with Jax Green patina for my jewellery, and I have looked at the very helpful section on patinas, but I couldn’t find an answer to my problem. I was wondering if you could help me please. I have a problem with applying sealant to my patina…I have tried clear sealant (from Nunn Design) another local sealant (which is similar to the former) and renaissance wax…the problem with both the sealants is that when it dries, it peels off the metal (copper) along with the patina. I have tried renaissance wax but it thickens the look so it looks like pastel/crayon, and you can scrape/dig it off/out with your fingernail.

Answer

Did you apply the wax correctly? Warm the surface with a heat gun or a torch. Surface should be warm to the touch. Load a brush with paste wax and apply lightly and evenly all over the metal. The metal should be warm enough to melt the wax but not burn it. Cool metal to room temp, allowing wax to set. Don’t wait too long to buff out. Use a clean, soft, lint free rag.

Make sure that your metal is spotlessly clean and has a good “tooth” before applying the patina.  I would use 220 or 320 grit sandpaper, where the patina will be applied.  Test first.  Always run a test to check that the sanding marks won’t show up too much and how well the patina looks and stays put.

Have you tried a spray sealer?

Also, check out Sculpt Nouveau’s page on sealers?

They also have a Youtube channel.

Other ideas:

  • Protect the patina with a bezel or some other design adaptation to keep the patina from scratching and chipping.
  • Try making the patina thinner.
  • Try texturing the metal so that the patina stays in the recesses.

***Don’t forget to check out my page about Patina books and my web page on patinas.

Also, I have two videos on patinas, on the Tube. 1. Coloring Metal and 2. Metal Patinas

  • Haven’t checked this product out but, it could work??? Zinsser Gardz Problem Surface Sealer – Clear (my Amazon affiliate link – help support our work!). Don’t know if it will work with metal patinas but, it might.
  • This is a great site and has tons of info:  finishing.com  This guy’s problem with sealing rust is similar to yours.  Try Googling “sealing rust” or ” clear sealers for rust” too.

How to create patinas and where to source the materials.

Question

8/31/16

Question 1: I want to know how to keep the copper color fixed and not change with the air.  But, I  hope you could tell me simple materials cuz its hard here in Brazil to find some materials.
Question 2: But, for example is there patina for copper? What simple materials can I use?

I saw some videos using Ammonia and I don’t know from where I could get it but I wish something could replace it.

Answer

First answer:  I have a video that discusses this subject at about 23:30 minutes into the video. You’ve checked out my web page?  The link is at the top of this page.  As to what is available in your country, that I don’t know. I don’t have any craft or jewelry supply companies listed on my links page. Good luck!

Second answer:  There are a zillion patina’s for copper. Here’s a link to my page on patina books.   I suggest Amazon.

Supplies, for patinas, are simple, cheap and easy to find. Example:  Vinegar and Salt Patina by Jewelry Making Daily.

They must have Ammonia in Brazil. Have you looked in your supermarket for ammonia? It would be in the household cleaning products isle. It is a very common cleaning agent in many, many countries around the world. Also, some online shops ship to Brazil. Have you checked Amazon? I know that there’s a Walmart or two (or 2000) in Brazil. They would carry ammonia, vinegar and salt. You could contact them via their Brazilian web page or visit the store.

Order a few books or Google “DIY copper patinas”, “copper patina recipes”, etc. You will find thousands of recipes and methods. These sites will help you to create and protect your patinas.

I have two videos on patinas:  Metal Patinas and my recent video that I already sent you. Also, I have Techniques: Patinas, on my website.