Patina Problems

by Monica Mangreum
(Willingboro, NJ)

I don't understand how you can leave the patina on for so long{black or copper} because it stains the glass. Also I use Dawn,yes what you wash dishes with to clean the flux off of my finished project. I then dry,let air dry and then add my patina.I have been using a q-tip to apply patina, is this wrong? When I use a toothbrush or any brush to apply patina and let it for more than an hour it stains the glass,and I have a hard time removing the stain.I did purchase the patina remover, but its a long process for me since I am disabled and only have use of one hand.Also is auto-wax good for finished projects,ie Armour-all or Castrol Super clean for repelling water. I know I have asked alot hope you can answer. Thanks


Hi Monica,

It looks like you have several problems using patina. I hope my answers will help make using patina easier for you.

Don't forget to wipe the patina off before you let it dry. The copper only takes less than an hour to dry. The black need to set longer to fully "take". Wiping it off will help stop the glass from staining.

With the copper, wax before you apply the patina. This puts a protective coat of wax on the glass which will prevent any stains. The wax, in no way prevents the copper from chemically reacting with the tin in the solder. It actually seems to enhance it.

You do need to be careful with irridized glass. It will stain quite easily, but I have not had staining problems since I started waxing first. I very seldom use black patina, so I can't give you any precautions to take with irridized glass. I'd say if you wipe it off the glass thoroughly before letting it sit, staining should not be a problem.

Using a Q-tip to apply patina sounds like a long tedious job, but I can't see anything wrong with it. Just make sure you use enough patina. A little goes a little ways. No, I didn't make a mistake...a little goes a little ways. It causes a chemical reaction with the tin in the solder, so to get a good patina finish you need to use plenty.

Armour-all actually will etch glass and give it a dull look. My husband learned this when he worked at an auto parts center. Also, Armour-all leaves a greasy type residue that is nearly impossible to remove. So my answer to Armor-all is a resounding NO.

I know nothing about Castrol Super Clean; however, I'm curious as to why you want to use those products. Mother's Wax works exceptionally well. You can get it at most auto parts stores. It contains the same type of wax that the much more expensive waxes, made specifically for stained glass, are made of.


Comments for Patina Problems

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Feb 09, 2010
by: Anonymous


Dec 25, 2008
by: Anonymous


Dec 12, 2007
Your Question Will Help Many
by: Sue

Hi Monica,

Thank you for asking that question. Applying patina causes problems for many people. I think it's the #1 problem in copper foiling. I'm sure, that by asking that question, many people will benefit from it.


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