Verdigris Color Copper Patina

by Zola
(Manchester, CA)

Hi,


Thank you for the great information on this site! I'd love to know of a patina approach that will reliably produce the verdigris look that occurs on weathered brass, and sometimes on copper.

With much appreciation,
Zola

Answer

Hi Zola,

You need Jax Green Patina and Jax Brown Patina. However, they can't be used alone. They needs to be applied over a prior coating of Jax Copper Plating Solution. Here's what the literature says about the copper plating solution: "it instantly plates copper onto iron, steel, brass and solder. All Jax metal finishing solutions are easy to use, produce authentic, consistent results, require no heat or electricity, are water based, contain no sulfur, are non-flammable and react within seconds. Corrosive, hazmat."

There is a web site that explains the application procedure quite well. It's from notes taken at a lecture, on patina, given by Joe Porcelli. You can find it at Patina Lecture. The notes about Jax products is a fair way down on the page. They start opposite the words "Special Applications" that you see on the left side of the page.

Farther down the page the are more notes from Roger Weiss about his experience using the Jax products. You might want to read those as well.

I hope this helps you. If you decide to use the Jax products, let us know how it goes.

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Copper Patina With an Antique Look

by Colleen
(Anchorage, Alaska)

I am making a piece that is 8" by 73". I want to use copper patina. The look that I want is the antique finish not the bright shiny patina. Should I use copper or silver U around the edges? I brought Novacan Super Brite Copper Patina for Solder. Is this the right product? Thanks for your help.

Answer
Hi Colleen,

My preferance would be to use copper U, as you will not be able to use copper patina on the silver U. I'm not too sure how the silver would look with copper solder seams.

Make sure you use some copper re-strip in your constructipn, to give the panel more stability. Run it from one edge to the other anywhere you have a hinge joint. It fits between the glass pieces as you are constructing the panel. Copper re-strip is much easier to handle than strong line.

Any patina you use will take on an antique or old look over time. It will not stay bright and shiny unless you keep polishing it, so your Novcan Super Bright will be okay. If you want something less "bright", Classique makes an Antique Brass patina. It is my patina of choice. It comes out a lovely soft coppery color. If you use the antique brass patina, you could use brass U around the panel.

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Copper Patina

by Janet
(Bradenton, FL)


I am making a lamp shade. I soldered the vase cap. The solder is to be copper patina. I followed your instructions, but the copper didn't seem to absorb evenly into the vase cap. I cleaned (I thought) until no black. Now, places are really pretty copper and other areas on the cap are silver and will take nothing. What to do...if anything?

Answer

Some vase caps have a coating on them that plays havoc with solder. Clean off the patina with a piece of fine steel wool. Run off as much solder as possible with a very hot soldering iron. 120 to 150 watt iron if you have access to one.

Rub over the vase cap with the steel wool. Rinse it off and dry it.

Flux the vase cap with paste flux and tin it again. Tinning should just be a very light coating of solder that makes the cap look silver. There should not be a measurable amount of solder on it. Wash it well and dry it. Use your patina again. It should take this time.

From now on, before you tin a vase cap, make sure it is free of any coating before you tin it. Clean it off with acetone or a good quality nail polish remover should work. Do this in a ventilated area, then wash it well. If it looks like there's anything still on it, rub it gently with fine steel wool, then wash again. Now you can apply paste flux and tin it.

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Time Limit Between Soldering and Copper Patina

by Nancy
(Portland Oregon)

Can you wait 24 to 48 hours after you solder and before you put on the super brite copper patina? I have heard that you must patina within an hour of soldering or it won't turn copper color.

Answer

You apply the patina as soon as you clean the project. If you need to wait, there are two ways you can do it. Either clean the project twice...once as soon as you are done soldering, and again just before you patina, or clean the project once, then wax and polish the solder. Then, just before you apply the patina, wax and polish again. Yes...you wax before you apply patina as well as afterwards. Another alternative is to wipe the flux off the project and slip it into a plastic bag until you can get back to it. Then when you're ready to work on it, you can clean it and apply your patina. You might find this tutorial helpful: Cleaning, Patina, and Polish Your Stained Glass Projects

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Copper Patina For Lead Came

by Ruthe
(Corvallis, MT)

Can you use a copper patina on lead came? If so, does the same product work for solder?
Thank you.
Ruthe

Answer

There is a copper patina for lead, but it is difficult to get an even finish. I found that going over the lead with very fine steel wool, before applying the patina, helps.

The patina will work on the solder on your leaded project, but I wouldn't use it on a foiled project. For a foiled project, use patina for solder.

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Best Results for Copper Patina


(by Novacan )

A suggestion to achieve great Copper Patina results.

Use TSP (tri sodium phosphate) as the only cleaning agent. It is available from paint stores and some grocery stores. It is a crystal that looks like sugar and must be dissolved in warm water. Follow mixing instructions on package.

It is a powerful cleaning agent, but its main benefit is that it's a chemical neutralizer for zinc chloride based flux.

Scrub the piece using a plastic bristle brush (like a hand scrub brush), then rinse thoroughly to remove all residues of TSP. Damp dry to remove most of the rinse water...excess rinse water will dilute the patina. Then apply the patina.

(Detergents are a contaminant that hinder good patina results.)

P.S. Because TSP neutralizes zinc chloride, it will eliminate the chalky white residue known as 'white mold'. White Mold is caused by the continued slow chemical reaction of flux residue.
It is really important to neutralize all traces of zinc chloride.

Reply
I'm not sure where this information came from. The only Novacan web site that I found did not have any instructions, only MSDS information. I spent quite a while trying to track down the validity of this information and found nothing.

If the person that submitted this would let me know the source they got it from, I would be more than happy to tell my visitors to go ahead and try it, and I would try it myself.

Sue

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Copper Patina

by diane
(Cranford, NJ USA)

Hi Sue,
I did a window with foil and followed your directions on how to clean and apply the copper patina.
My mistake was that after I applied the copper patina and polished it, I went for the windex and cleaned the window.
The copper reacted to the windex and put all black spots on the copper patina.
I wanted to know if you had any tips on what I can do now to get the copper to shine again without all the black spots. OR is this an acceptable way for the copper to look, it has that worn in look?
Thank you for your help
diane metz

Hi Diane,

Woops...you used Windex after you polished the copper. That chemical reaction will happen every time. If you polish with a soft cloth, after you apply the wax, nothing more has to be done. The wax will clean and polish the glass as well as the copper.

You will have to be the judge as to whether you like the look or not. If you don't like it, you can take off the patina using fine steel wool or bronze wool. Once the patina is off, repeat the cleaning and patina routine.

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Copper Patina Stained Bevels While Drying in the Sun

by Dan
(Valley Center, Ca)

Left copper sulfate patina on project out in sun and when attempted to clean panel it now has multiple white cloudy stains on glass I am unable to remove. Have tried windex, steel wool, lime away, to no avail. Any suggestions? Thanks, Dan

Answer

Hi Dan,

Oh my, what a hard lesson to learn. It sounds like the copper sulphate etched the glass, and if that is the case, nothing removes etching. It's permanent. However, let's hope that I'm wrong. Try scrubbing it with toothpaste. I've seen toothpaste remove marks on glass that nothing else would touch.

Perhaps someone reading this has had a similar experience and will tell us what they did.

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Copper Patina

by Donna
(Lowell, MA)

Prior to reading your article I applied copper to a piece I was repairing. Needless to say, the new solder looks black and the old is a copper color. Is there any way to fix this? thank you, for your assistance. Donna

Answer

Hi Donna,

You can remove the new copper patina with very fine steel wool. Then follow my instructions on the Patina page. You can use the wax on the entire panel if you want. It will brighten up the old patina and it should make the whole panel look as good as new.

Sue

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Copper Patina Blotchy

by Chris
(Canada)

Why is my copper patina not working on all areas of the solder? I washed my project thoroughly before I started putting on the patina. What am I doing wrong.

Answer

Water will cause the patina to be blotchy. Once you have applied patina, do not wash it again. You can find complete instructions for cleaning and applying patina here: Patina

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Copper Patina for Lead Came

by Ed
(Trinity, Florida)

I finished a small stained glass piece with a lead came border. The copper patina works fine on the solder but will not take to the lead. Suggestions please.
Thank you.

Answer
Solder is part tin and part lead. When you use copper patina on solder there is a chemical reaction between the tin in the solder and the copper sulfate in the copper patina. That is what gives you the copper color. Lead came does not have tin in it, so copper patina for solder will not work on lead.

You need to use a copper patina for lead. Apparently the only one available is Lead Plate made by Novacan. I have not used it, so I can't tell you what the finished product looks like. Lead Plate is available from most online stained glass suppliers.

Perhaps someone reading this has used the product and can tell us more about it, in the comments section just below.

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Copper Patina and Zinc

In your copper patina tutorial, it looks like you put a zinc frame on the top of the piece before applying the patina. What does the copper patina do to the zinc? In the photo it looks like it got darker. I was going to put a zinc frame on a piece, and the only way I can think of to make it look copper would be to paint it (spraypaint or something). I've never used the copper patina before, so I was also struggling with when to put the frame on. It would be good to have it before washing to provide structural support, but I don't want to potentially discolor the zinc with chemicals.

Answer

In my tutorial, you are looking at the aluminum strips used to make the jig to build my window in, not a zinc frame. The only place you saw a zinc frame was in Other Ways to Finish the Edges. It was around a contemporary flower panel. The panel was patinaed with copper patina. Then the zinc was painted with Rustoleum paint.

You can attach your zinc frame before you wash and patina the project. Any copper patina that gets on the zinc can easily be wiped off. It will turn the zinc black, but it will wipe off easily if you wipe it right away...don't let it sit on the zinc for any period of time.

Some people leave the zinc it's natural color, feeling that the contrast between the copper and silver colors is nice.

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Can you make your own copper patina?


(england)

Is it possible to make your own.

Answer

Yes. Get Copper Sulphate crystals and mix them with warm water. You will have to experiment to get the right proportions. Start out with 1 Tbsp crystals to 1 cup warm water. Put it on some solder. If the copper color is right, put a cap on the jar and store it for the next you need copper patina. If it isn't right, keep adding crystals until you have the copper color you want.

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Blotchy patina on copper frame

by Maryvonne Mavroukakis
(Silver Spring. MD)


Hello,
I just finished a panel which is framed with copper. I have scrubbed it with steel wool before applying the patina ( I used JAX, Brown Brass, Bronze & copper Darkener). I have repeated this process 2 or 3 times, and still there are some blotchy parts on the frame which I can't cover with the patina. I decided to wax the piece anyway because I ran out of ideas (and patience).Can you suggest something I can use to cover those blotches?

Answer

I have not worked with that particular JAX patina, so I can't give you a specific answer. However, here's my Patina Tutorial which might give you some ideas to try.

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crystalized copper patina

by Christine Beaton
(BC)

An old bottle of Copper Patina has dried out and crystalized. Do I have to toss it or can I reconstitute it? Would this apply to any patina?

Answer

You can try adding 1/4 cup hot water to the copper patina, then shake it. Test it on some scrap solder to see if the color is right. If it's too dark, add more water. This might work, but I can't guarantee it. The reason for my suggestion is because copper patina can be made using copper sulphate crystals and hot water, but I'm not sure about the ingredients in ready made patina. However, it's worth a try instead of throwing it out. I don't know if it would work with other patinas.

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What is Copper Patina

by deborah
(ft collins, CO.)

Hi there,
I've been soldering for years and am self taught and have never known what makes up copper patina.

Answer

Hi Deborah,

Copper Patina is used on copper foil pieces to make the solder lines an antique copper color. It compliments most colors of glass including clear. I use it on almost every copper foil piece I make. I prefer copper colored solder seams to the silver color of solder.

Copper Patina is made by several manufacturers and every stained glass hobbiest has their personal favorite.

Copper patina can be made at home using copper sulfate crystals and warm water. If you read through the questions in this section you will find the specifics for making your own.

The copper color is caused by a chemical reaction between copper sulfate and the tin in solder.

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