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Alex: I just discovered a way to get a very shiny cooper patina. After soldering clean off flux then put on Kem o Pro and buff, then put on the copper patina. You can then buff again (you might have to put another coat of Kem o Pro on). It comes out so shiny!!!!!

Alex: I mentioned lately the Canfield patina is brighter. I don't usually use bright copper, I mix black patina and copper together 1:1 to get a antique look.

SB Anthony: I remember that Karen said that she used (accidentally the first time) non-acetone nail polish remover on black patina a day after the black was applied and got a wonderful bronze color. I tried it but did not wait the day and had mixed results. Worth experimenting with, though?

Walt Boepple: In talking to Carol one time she mentioned doing the copper patina first and then going over it with the black. I think it was on my Clematis Commission that I did that and it came out a very nice brown tone. I think I went over the copper color a couple of times with the black and it came out that brown tone. Sorry I don't have a formula for it though.

Walt Boepple: I went back into my file marked "Patina" and found the mention of two different books on patina. Cheap Thrills In The Tool Shop was $24.95 and the other was Patinas for Small Studios at $15.50. Don't know if they are still around or not. Could check with I think both of those books might have been by Charles Lewton-Bain. I have an old address for him at

Walt Boepple: There was mention in one place I looked of 3 videos that are available from Ron Young at 1 800 432 8242 on patination. In another place there was also mention of another book called, "The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals by Richard Hughes and Michael Rowe"

Tracey Christianson: In response to the brown patina dilemma, here is how I do it. I use both black patina & copper patina (not the bronze patina)

1) Apply the copper patina Rinse, dry. Scrub with steel wool.

2) REPEAT PROCEDURE 3) Apply black patina. I only leave the black patina on for a MINUTE. Rinse off. If you leave the black patina on for too long you loose that "brown" look. Question- So you have to apply the copper patina twice? Is it really necessary? It all depends on how brown you want your finish. I think that this finish matches the finish of the Source One bases. The studio I go to carries a finish that will give your lamp that Green Copper look. I can find out the name if anyone is interested. Also, I have found that this finish works best when you have used a water soluble flux when soldering (this tip was mentioned the newsletter last year). Since I prefer to solder using that greasy-paste flux (solder flows more evenly according to me), I really have to scrub when it comes to cleaning the shade.

Ernie Downey: from Ernie All the discussion about patina, I recalled an segment out of a book by Robert Koch, Louis C. Tiffany's Glass Bronzes and Lamps. On page 88 of the book the following excerpt can be found: "Here is the formula for Tiffany green as supplied to me by Irving H. Levine: Tiffany Green Patina Copper sulfate 8 oz Ammonium Chloride 4 oz Sodium Chloride 4oz Zinc Chloride 4 oz Acetic Acid 2 oz Water 1 gal Use only on copper or copper-plated bronze. The addition of 1 oz of glycerin will prevent the green from drying too fast and produce a more even color. The articles are immersed in this solution and, if the color is not uniform, the immersions are repeated as often as desired, allowing the work to dry thoroughly between immersions." I have never tried this formula, maybe some have, would like to hear the feedback if you have, seems simple enough to make, and could be on to fill a 5 gal plastic bucket and immerse bases into it, or saturate towels and place on the outside of the shade and keep it damp.

Walt Boepple: Jeff told me that the best applicator for patina is a small piece of indoor/outdoor(Astroturf) carpet. He says that it roughs up the surface a bit and holds the patina in it and works very well.

Chaz Smith: Ok, so what's the easy (or at least not quite as hard) way to patina lead and brass with regular copper patina? Use a battery! I took a 6 inch piece of 1/4 inch COPPER tubing and pounded the end flat (2 inches.) I got one of those fancy sponge paper towels, and cut a piece that would wrap around and completely cover this flat end section. I tied it on by wrapping nylon sewing thread (like superfine fishing line) around it and tying. Get a regular "D" size flashlight battery, and a couple of jumper wires. Connect one end of the battery to the copper pipe, the other to the metal item to be patinated. (I think the + end went to the pipe, but I don't remember exactly- try both ways, it won't hurt if it's backwards) Dip the sponge tip into normal copper patina, and rub it onto the object. Keep it moving or it may tend to darken. This method works well to copper patina rings and wheels. It worked on the lead, but not quite as well as I would have liked- though plain patina didn't work at all. I tried the novel approach of filling an empty magic marker with copper patina, and shoving a thick copper wire through a hole in the back end, right up to the back of the tip. This could then be connected to the battery. This worked, but not as well as the sponge wrapped around the flattened copper pipe.

Nichole O'Neill: The following notes were taken on tests of the effects of different patina applications on lamp solder lines. Tests on a brass ring and a vase cap were also performed (report later). Most formulations are not published, so some formulas listed below do not include specific chemicals. These notes are part of an on-going effort to accumulate information, facts, tips, and experiences with chemicals in order to achieve a nice brown/green finish on my Tiffany lamp reproductions. Please send me any information that can be added to this outline, especially on chemicals and formulations that you know about or have tried! The first test (below) was done in the workshop, at RH 40%, 70F. Prepared test strips of Canfield 60/40 solder in beaded lines on Venture copper foil-wrapped glass rectangles, making a test panel. Preliminary treatments: Scrubbed with CJ's, rinsed in tap water Scrubbed with Jax cleaner for brass and copper (sulfuric acid and potassium dichromate), rinsed in tap water. Chemical solutions were applied with q-tips and solder lines were rinsed in tap water between applications. Test strip #, Treatment, and (Results)

1. Novacan superbrite copper patina for solder (dull coppery orange color) + M38 full strength (dark brown within a couple of minutes, very nice).
2. Novacan superbrite copper patina for solder (dull coppery orange color) + M20 full strength (medium brown).
3. Novacan superbrite copper patina for solder (dull coppery orange color) + Jax brown darkener (medium brown, less than # 1 or # 2).
4. Novacan black for solder (uniform matte black).
5. M38 alone (gray black).
6. M20 alone (no reaction).
7. blank.
8. Jax copper plating solution (dull coppery orange color with gray/pink areas + M38 (dark brown similar to #1).
9 Jax copper plating solution (dull coppery orange color with gray/pink areas (improved with rubbing) + M20 (brown, not as dark as # 2).
10. Jax copper plating solution (dull coppery orange color with gray/pink areas) + Jax brown darkener (dark brown, very nice).

Notes: A less desirable copper base was achieved with Jax compared with Novacan, which may have affected subsequent results with darkener. It took more rubbing with Jax to get rid of some of the gray. The nicest, darkest brown from the above treatments was achieved with #s 1 and 8. Treatments to achieve a green patina on the above test strips: The strips on the test plate were treated with Jax green patina. Results: This patina resulted in a less shiny, more matte finish to the solder lines than the brown alone. The nicest and greatest abundance of green oxidation appeared with treatments # 1, then # 2, followed by # 8 and # 3, although these four were similar in appearance. The samples were rinsed in water, allowed to dry, rubbed with Kiwi brown shoe polish, then buffed to a shine (cotton flannel fabric was used). The shoe polish warmed up the finish nicely, and left much of the oxidation, especially in crevasses.

Chemicals to achieve a copper base:
1. Canfield coppery patina, zinc chloride, copper sulfate, ammonium chloride. Not too bright. Semi-antique copper finish
2. Jax copper plating solution, copper sulfate, sulfuric acid. Takes about 10 seconds. Rinse with hot water, dry, buff.
3. Novacan superbright copper patina, Copper sulfate, mineral acid. Very bright copper patina on solder.

Chemicals to use over a copper base to darken solder lines:
1. Jax brown darkener, hydrochloric acid 1%, selenious acid 1%, 98-99% non-hazardous. Leave on 5-10 minutes, rinse in warm water, dry, buff do this 2-3 times, steel wool in between selenium compounds SeO2.
2. Antique black M20 oxidizer and Antique brown M38 oxidizer for brass, bronze, or copper. $42 for black, $40 for brown for 5 gallons. Works on metals (copper, brass, bronze, etc.) except solder. They dilute the stock with water and submerge items in tanks. The distributor they use is Milhorn Chemical in Maywood Calif. 231-771-8301 (Ruben). MFG. is Birchweed Casey Metal Finishing Systems (612)937-7931. They will send out 8 oz each as samples. A gallon costs more than the 5 gal quantity. The formulas are from the MSDS sheets. M20 black MSDS formula (w/w) Selenious acid <4% Cupric sulfate <4% Phosphoric acid <8% Zinc sulfate <4% Ammonium molybdate <4% Water >76% Mix this solution 1:4 with water (20% solution) Alkaline clean (mild), then acid clean metal (2-5% sulfuric acid) Immerse for 1-3 minutes for desired black color

To produce a brown finish
Mix a 10% solution and apply for 30-90 seconds Dry and wax or lacquer M38 brown MSDS formula (w/w) Selenious acid <3% Cupric nitrate <6% Phosphoric acid <4% Ammonium hydrogen fluoride <1% Polyoxyethylene (12) tridecyl alcohol <1% Water >85% Mix the above solution 1:4 (20% solution) with water if dipping. Alkaline clean (mild), then acid clean metal (2-5% sulfuric acid) To swab-on, use full strength or diluted to achieve desired color. Rinse after 30-90 sec when color is achieved, and dry. Repeat if a darker color is desired. Wax or lacquer. 3. Novican black patina use directly, copper base not needed. Nitric acid <3%, Cupric nitrate, selenium compounds. Add 1 t salt per 1/4 c black patina to turn brass to deep bronze. Then spray with finishing compound and buff to shine.

Chemicals to achieve a green oxidation on copper plated solder lines, with or without brown darkening.
1. Tiffany's green patina as published in "Louis C. Tiffany's Glass, Lamps, Bronzes" by Robert Koch, as listed in June, 1989 Professional Stained Glass magazine 8 oz. Copper sulfate 4 oz. Ammonium chloride 4 oz. Sodium chloride 4 oz. Zinc chloride 2 ounces acetic acid 1 gallon of water (1 oz glycerin) Effective on copper or copper-plated bronze. Similar to Jax green patina.

2. The Soldering, Bronzing, and Patination of Metals by Richard Hughes and Michael Rowe (1991) contains numerous formulas, some of which are similar to commercial products. See p.175. Jax green patina, copper sulfate 10-14%, ammonium chloride 4-8%, probably an acidic solution (sulfuric acid). Add a little ammonia to get more bluish green. Best applied by dipping but can be brushed on. Brush on until dull gray film occurs then let dry. Do 3 coats.

3. Paul Dufour's patina: 1-1/2 lb CuSO4, 1 gallon of water, and 4 oz muratic acid (dilute HCl) Other chemicals 1. Novacan copper patina for zinc, Ammonia. Copper gives coppery antique finish on zinc, and solder is not affected. 2. Inland Antique brass patina, acid, semi-metallic element (green, - probably copper sulfate) Use sparingly. Rubbing will produce copper patina. 3. Jax instant brass and copper cleaner, Sulfuric acid Potassium dichromate works well. Order of metals for taking patina lead (hardest) tin brass copper bronze (easiest) Results from using chemicals in treatment # 1 on the Elaborate peony lamp. Preliminary: the patinaton took about 3 hours and was done outside during a 70 F, misty overcast day, using a separate natural bristle hand scrub brush for each chemical. The lamp was supported on a styrofoam frame (used to ship computer monitors) sitting in a big plastic tray.

1. Removed wax with a soy based remover. Rub all lead lines with steel wool.
2. Clean with CJ's.
3. Acid clean (Jax). The lamp was squeaky clean.
4. Treated with Novacan superbrite copper patina for solder. Resulted in a uniform, dull, orange/coppery appearance on the solder lines and brass exposed on the ring and rim. Steel wool and more patina was rubbed on some areas where needed. Rinsed (hosed off with warm water) without drying.
5. Applied M38 full strength, and browning was immediate. Could have diluted it 5:1 for a slower effect. Rinsed without drying.
6. Treated with Jax Green patina. Over a period of about 15 minutes, alternatively applied extra patina when whitish salts appeared in the solution (evident in corners). Tried to monitor this so that salts wouldn't dry onto the glass because it is hard to remove. The lamp was kept moist the whole time. The brass parts became almost solid green, and the solder lines became more than half green with oxidation,
7. Rinse in tap water. Blot dry.
8. I allowed the lamp to dry for two days and then polished with kiwi brown shoe polish. Much of the green on the solder lines was retained, and nearly all of the green was retained on the brass parts. The shoe polish resulted in a nice warm brown color. When testing Johnson's paste wax as a final polish, it removed the remaining green on the solder lines, so was not used. These are the best results I've gotten to date on a lamp. Future: Find a way to get more of a reddish finish. Find a way to get more uniformity between the green on the brass parts and the solder lines (without tinning the brass). The glass was clean but some parts were not squeaky clean. Rubbing some of the glass with a q-tip after the shoe polishing remedied this but it would be nice not to need to do this.

Notes on patina from discussions with Joe Jewel (Odyssey):
After much experimentation, he has found that the look of the patina depends on where you live. His chemicals are dissolved in de-ionized water but he rinses in tap water to get the yellowing from chlorine. He suggested trying the M20 and M30 chemicals. Procedure for a lamp:

1. Clean (dichloroethylene?) in warm water)
2. Acid clean
3. Cyanide bath about an hour to copper plate
4. Apply desired patina solutions (different oxides)
5. Lacquer with nitrocell? in a satin finish. The finish is not dull or matte or clear but in between. Lacquering lamps is a personal choice. They lacquer some of theirs.
6. Wax with brown/black shoe polish and a big bristle brush. do 1/3-1/4 of a section at a time then wipe off. Then can use a clear paste floor wax to get the brownish off the glass but leaves lead line nice. If you want it to look even older, sprinkle on vacuum dust. Joe Jewel will patina shades for $100. He says he uses Tiffany's chemical formula and does not use formulas that are even close to Jax's.formulas. Whitish deposits came come from the adhesive on the foil. Use tacky wax on foil for adhesive. The sun will darken a patina. (UV?) Finishing compounds: Kem-o-pro finishing compound Carnauba wax anti-oxidant, polishing agents Recommended by metal finisher: Carnauba wax or paste wax or bees wax Recommended by Odyssey: paste wax (seals patina, gives shine). Porchelli - If a color rubs off easily, add a little water to the patina solution and rub the chemical vigorously into the metal. It should darken evenly. Hughes and Rowe On copper sulfate finish use Simichrome polish. A paste wax will produce an enhanced, satin-like finish. Black patina has a problem with adhesion, so test first before waxing or polishing. Joe Porchelli applies lacquer to protect the patina and give a high shine. Uses Testors or Colorworks Clear Lacquer. For a duller look, use Testors Dull Coat or Krylon Matte finish, 2 coats. Then use polishing wax; Minwax for dark finishes, then buff with a cordless drill. Paul Crist uses several coats of patina, scrubbing off in between. Then clean thoroughly. Then wax with shoe polish (brown and black). Use Saran Wrap to keep the patina working.

To Achieve a Bronze Tone

Walt Boepple:
I finished soldering the lamp, scrubbed it down outside with the baking soda and water and a fairly stiff scrub brush. I then dried it off fairly well. Immediately I began to apply the copper patina to it. I thinned the copper patina a bit with water as the desired effect that I like is a bronze tone. Then I took it outside and washed it down with water. I then dried it off as much as possible with a towel and began to apply the black patina. This toned it down some but not as much as I would like. Two more applications of black went on until it was the bronze color that I wanted. I then rinsed it off again, used the Giraffe Joos and rinsed it off again. After drying it again, I began to apply the Stained Glass Finishing liquid with a rag. After a couple of minutes I buffed it up and applied some more. Yesterday morning, before taking it to Don Conti to photograph it, I hit it with a pretty good coat of Brown Kiwi Shoe Polish and buffed it again. I like the look of the color.