Patinate copper

In many applications, copper is also valued for its patina, which it receives after a while under the influence of weathering. This patina can also be produced artificially and thus much faster. Below are some non-dangerous ways to patinate copper yourself.

Copper is found in many areas

Copper is an important metal, which offers a wide range of applications due to its complex and positive properties:

  • in art
  • Pipeline construction
  • for roofing roofs
  • as facade cladding
  • Household items
  • in the electrical and electronics
  • in plant engineering
  • in the food industry

The natural oxidation or patina of copper

These are certainly just some of the potential applications for copper. In the case of water pipes, for example, the oxidation of the metal is estimated. If the water composition is correct, an oxide layer is formed within a short time, which protects the underlying copper for a long time against further corrosion of the copper. This is also referred to as a passive layer.

First, a discoloration to different shades of brown and black takes place. If copper salts are dissolved in the water, this patina changes to a blue and then light to dark green sting. Colloquially, this is referred to as verdigris, but it is not. Proper verdigris (which is also poisonous) is generated by certain acids.

Light red to brown hue with bare copper

Anyone who has polished copper knows that the metal has a very special and bright red shimmer. But also unpolished a darker shade of red predominates. Now, for example, in the arts, but also for facades, there are numerous incentives to obtain a patina, so that the copper looks older.

The patinating of copper

Depending on the means you use, you can create and blacken patina, or even achieve a bluish-green hue. To patinate this blue-green color you only need nitric acid, water and heat.

Patinated copper blue-green

First, mix one part of nitric acid with two parts of water. Mix the solution well and let stand until it reaches a nice deep blue hue. Then pour the solution into a spray bottle. Now heat the workpiece from copper and spray it. After just one or two days you will see the color changes. You can then repeat the process to further change the hue.

Blacken or patinate copper

If you want to blacken the copper while patinating but rather, resort to sulfur liver. You can buy these or make them yourself (not recommended due to the stench). Anyway, these works should necessarily take place outdoors because of the smell. Dissolve the sulfuric liver in water according to the instructions of the supplier (three to five grams in about 200 ml of water as a guideline).

Now immerse the copper in the solution for a few seconds. Make another solution of soda and water. Once the copper has reached the blackness you want, immerse the copper in the soda solution to stop or neutralize the chemical process of the sulfuric ore.

When working with sulfuric acid, pay attention

Be sure to wear protective gloves and eye protection when working with sulfuric acid. Depending on how often and how long you immerse the copper in the sulfuric silver solution, you will get different black and brown colors.

Tips & Tricks

There are even more ways to patinate copper. Keep in mind, however, that you can work with acids and that they can sometimes react violently. This is especially true when mixing, if you do not know or have any experience with the different ingredients.

Video Board: Copper Patinas - How To Patina Copper Metal - Five Recipes - Verdigris, Liver of Sulphur, Vinegar