Copper patina

joefromsd(San Diego)January 29, 2004

I like to use copper in some of my outdoor projects, and I haven't found a decent way to create a patina on it.

Anyone have any ideas about this ? I'm not looking for an instant green (that would be nice though) but just want to help it on its way a bit.

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cactusfreak(7)

Try bleach. Just wipe on with a cotton cloth. It takes the shine off and dulls it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 11:40PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Don't know how well this works for straight copper, but I made a penny gazing globe by siliconing pennies onto a bowling ball. I made up a strong solution of Peter's Plant food in water and sprayed it on the ball and the pennies developed that great copper verdigris color in no time. I initially thought the color would wash off when it rained, but that bowling ball was outside all last year in all the rain we had and the color is still there. For copper pipe, you might have a problem with getting the fertilizer solution to stay on the pipe long enough to get the color to develop, but if you could lay the pieces of copper in a tub and let it soak in the solution for a while, that might help. It would probably also help to wipe down the pipe with some cleaner to remove any old oxidized finish so that the fertilizer solution would have a bare "virgin" copper surface to work on.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 7:09AM
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bungalow_mikee(z10 CA)

Much of untreated copper is very easy to stain.
But if it has been lacquered, you will need to remove it with Lacquer Thinner which is very toxic.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 5:56AM
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laa_laa(Sunset /8 or 9)

This might be a messy and expensive way, but have you ever seen pennies that have been sitting in a spilled puddle of Coca Cola? L.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 7:58PM
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justmee(7 Okla.)

I have heard that plain yogurt spread on the copper and left in place for awhile will create the proper conditions. ???

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 12:50PM
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Master_Eeyore(7b)

Salt Water. Works great on ships bells... and they are brass!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2004 at 3:24PM
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DixieRedHead(NC, Low Zone7)

Vinegar. Cheap, works good, and you don't have to collect it from the potty.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 8:52PM
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joefromsd(San Diego)

Hey Dixie, say you has some 3/4" copper pipes, 4' long .. how would you treat them ? Wet them with vineagar and wrap em in plastic for a day or so ?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 10:05PM
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outdoorfan(z4WI)

Easy way to get a great patina on copper:
Rub all the finish off with steel wool, mix vinegar and salt in a squiter bottle. Squirt all the copper. Be careful where you lean your project to patina it, as this mix will kill all green plants it comes in contact with.
Cool patina overnight!!!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 10:54PM
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rosefolly

Here is a chart that shows the progress over the years if you don't do anything, and if you don't live in an arid climate. Some of my copper tuteurs are about five years old and they are getting close to the color given for four years. I have a dry summer climate, but I do irrigate, so I guess that makes up for a lot.

I once tried an earlier suggestion of spraying Miracid (now called Miracle Grow for Acid Plants, I think). It did not seem to do anything. I'd love to hurry the process along, but my copper structures have plants growing on or through them, so unless the treatment is pretty benign, I'll just let nature take its course.

Paula

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural patina on copper

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 1:33PM
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tracy_pa(z6)

two words...

dog pee

Works like nothing else, of course you may not want to touch it any more!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 6:34PM
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joefromsd(San Diego)

Tracy! how do you collect it?

I do have 2 dawgs ..
[:o)
(:o)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 7:40PM
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phirefli

After reading all the above copper patina recipes, I made up my own concoction using sawdust from my stallion's bedding that was well saturated in strong urine. I scooped the soaked sawdust bedding into a large plastic coffee can and added a good measure of salt and mixed well. I buried a test piece of copper into the mixture and covered it with the coffee can lid. (I suggest wearing latex surgical gloves as this stuff is really strong and after all it IS horse urine!)
In one hour the piece was a beautiful speckled turquoise. After three hours the entire piece was vivid turquoise. I removed the copper, it let dry in the sun, rinsed it in water, let it dry again and spayed it with matte Krylon clear craft sealer. This worked well for my embossed copper project.
(rinsing the copper before letting it sit in the sun caused some of the patina to chip away, drying first allowed the patina to adhere to the piece)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:41PM
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judyoso

rather than starting a science lab at my house, I just bought patina coppers sheets that are already finished. might cost a bit more but I didn't have time to monkey with chemicals.
heres the one I got (this is actually my kitchen).

patina copper sheets

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 2:20PM
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