Applying Patina

by Barbara Dyson
(Las Vegas Nv.)

When I took my classes they suggested I use cotton ball to apply patina. I find using a tooth brush dipped in patina is much easier and you use less patina, and it spreads further.

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Applicators for Flux & Patinas

I am not a big fan of flux brushes, even after cutting the bristles down. So, started looking for a different kind of brush. Because I use polymer clay in another area not related to stained glass, I found a site called Polymer Express. This site has brushes and applicators and have very small brushes and also very small applicators for $2 for a package of 10. There are different sizes, small, smaller and smallest. Some are brushes, some are like tiny more firm q-tips. These are great for applying flux and can be used over and over. I can control the amount of flux so much better using these brushes.

There are also nub applicators that I use sometimes for patina. You put your finger in a plastic piece that has a felt like nub on it. It fits fine on your index finger, and easy to control where you apply the patina. You might like to check this site out and see if you have a use for these.

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Don't Flip Your Lid!

by Sue Hurley
(Kailua, Hawaii)

I save the twist-off bottle caps from soda and water bottles. I use them for flux and patina and then just toss them into the rubbish when I'm done.

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Patina Application


(Amboy Center, NY)

Here is how I apply patina. I have had very good luck with these methods (one for black and one for copper or bronze).

Black Patina:
After soldering, I place the piece in warm water. I then apply a small amount of CJ's flux remover directly on the piece. I use a small soft nail brush to scrub both the top and back of the piece with the remover. After drying with a towel, I then blow dry it, with a hand held hair dryer, back and front, until the piece feels warm and is completely dry.

I immediately apply the patina with a tootbrush, by dipping the brush into a small "tuna" can of Novacan patina. (you should only pour in the amount that you think you will need into the can). I scrub it into the solder lines on the front first, then the edges and lastly the back. Once that is done, I take the can, toothbrush and the piece, and rinse them throughly.

I then dry the piece with a towel and blow dry it again, until the piece is warm and immediately apply the Kem O Pro SG Finishing Compound to the piece and on all the edges. Because the glass is warm, the wax adheres better and then I buff it with a soft cloth.

Using this method, I have never had a problem with corrosion, even after lengthy periods of time. The warm glass really seems to make a difference. The patina always is a deep shade of black and uniform every time.

Copper or Bronze Patina:
I do everything the same as for black patin with one exception. Once I have cleaned the piece with flux remover and blow dried it, I take the finest steel wool available and throughly rubdown all the solder lines and edges. It is important that every bit of solder be steel wooled. Blow dry off the excess steel wool and immediately apply the copper or brass patina with a toothbrush, as you did with the black patina.

The more you brush the copper patina, the "pinker" it will become. Do not overbrush on the brass patina, or it will start to go copper colored. Rinse and blow dry and apply finishing compound.

I learned this on my own, by experimenting. Hope this will help someone.

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Zinc and black patina

by Cathy
(Saint Cloud, Florida USA)

I like to use zinc in my borders but using the black zinc patinas always left them mottled and ugly looking. (Tried telling myself that they looked antiqued...but truthfully they were pretty bad.) I read where you needed to clean the zinc really, really well and I tried cleaning the zinc with everything I could think of...steel wool, various scrubby pads and even brass wool. Still did not achieve very acceptable results or anything near what I wanted. I then read Sue's post about using the Jax Pewter Black patina on the zinc. I happened to have some and tried it. Voila! What a difference and my zinc now looks great!

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