How Do You Create a Patina on Copper?

create-patina-copper Credit: bmmonday/iStock/Getty Images

One simple way of creating patina on copper involves using common household items, such as vinegar and salt. The shade of the patina using this process will be a bit unpredictable and its depth will depend on the length of time the oxidation is left to cure before applying the finish.

On copper, bronze and other similar surfaces, a patina naturally forms over time due to exposure to the elements, which causes the metal to oxidize. Apart from using a salt and vinegar solution, other techniques to artificially create patina include the use of heat and liver of sulfur.

The following shows how to artificially create patina on copper using vinegar and salt solution.

  1. Clean the copper
  2. Oil and dirt causes to patina to flake off from the surface. Clean the copper surface thoroughly to get rid of oil and dirt.

  3. Prepare the solution
  4. Mix 3 tablespoons of vinegar with 3 teaspoons of salt. Mix the solution thoroughly until the remaining salt no longer dissolves into the vinegar.

  5. Soak the copper
  6. Place the solution in a container deep enough for the copper material to be completely submerged. Place the copper material into the solution for at least 30 minutes.

  7. Air dry the copper
  8. Place the copper on a paper towel and allow it to air dry. The patina will begin forming in about an hour. Longer air drying time results in a deeper patina.

  9. Apply finish
  10. Wash the copper material and let it dry. Apply clear lacquer and soft wax to seal in the patina.