When copper reacts with oxygen in the air, copper oxide is formed, giving the copper a greenish color which some people desire for its classical look.When copper is allowed to age naturally, it can take years to develop what is called the verdigris patina, especially in dry climates.You can age copper much more quickly if you know how to do it.The process is easy, and you can use common household supplies to do it.
Step 1: To clean the surface, use a lint-free cloth.
The copper must be free of oils and other surface contaminants in order for the aging process to work.To get the best effect, be sure to clean the entire surface.
Step 2: The aging compound can be mixed.
The best way to oxidize your copper is with a mixture of one cup of plain white vinegar, three cups of household ammonia, and a small amount of table salt.Shake it up to mix the ingredients thoroughly after you mix them into a spray bottle.Non-iodized table salt has better effects.Salt should be dissolved as much as possible to avoid scratching your copper.Some aging compound recipes add lemon juice to the mixture.You should use equal parts of the ingredients if you have lemon juice.
Step 3: You can spray the object with a window cleaner.
After dusting the object thoroughly, clean it up with a commercial window cleaner.After giving it a light coat, wipe it down with the same cloth, buffing out as much of the dust as possible.If you spray the copper with the window cleaner again, do not wipe it off.The aging compound makes contact with the metal by breaking the invisible surface tension.
Step 4: The object should be covered with a mixture.
The aging compound should be applied after you’ve cleaned up your copper piece and sprayed it with the window cleaner.To create an even coat, make sure to get into the smallest spaces.Don’t over-do it.It’s not necessary to soak the piece.Just wet it with an even coat.
Step 5: The object should be covered.
To create humidity, it’s usually recommended that you place the copper object into a plastic bag or tent it under a piece of plastic to create an artificial environment while the aging compound works.For about an hour, allow the piece to sit undisturbed.If you live in an area with high humidity or if you apply the mixture during a rainstorm, you don’t need the plastic’s artificial environment.To give yourself the best benefit in the environment, try to age copper at the wettest or most humid point of the year.
Step 6: Apply the aging compound again.
Once more make certain that you have covered the entire metallic surface by removing the item from the plastic and applying the patina mix again.Allow it to rest overnight in the humidifying bag or tent.
Step 7: Continue as you please.
The amount of coloring on your piece will be up to you.If you want to get more color on the piece, remove it from the bag each morning and examine it thoroughly, then add more aging compound if necessary and repeat the process.If you live in a humid climate, you won’t want to age a piece using this method.You don’t have to do a lot to get the effect you want on an object because the copper will age naturally.
Step 8: Use a clean cloth to clean the object.
If you want to get rid of the aging compound, wipe a clean cloth with a small amount of window cleaner and then return the copper to it’s place.