How To Patina Metal

There is a thin colored film on the surface of metals like iron, steel, bronze, brass, and copper.In artwork and decorative pieces, this aged look can be very desirable.Exposure to the elements will cause many kinds of metal to change color over time, but if you want to be more intentional with your patination, you can use household ingredients, chemicals, and special paints.

Step 1: You need to collect your necessities.

Most of these items and ingredients can be found in your home.If you want to soak your metal in a solution of a plastic container or cheap bowl, you’ll need a suitable container.You can reuse the container as you please, but it must be deep enough to completely submerge the metal you’ll be patinating.You’ll also need a clean rag, paper towels, metal, plastic and rubber gloves.

Step 2: Prepare to clean the metal.

If you want the best results, always clean your metal and container.It’s important to clean and dry your metal and container to make sure fingerprints don’t ruin it.A few drops of dish soap and a scrub brush can be used to clean metal and containers.The metal pieces should be soaked in degreaser.It will remove build up in nooks and crevices.Cleaning steel with Trisodiumphosphate can be very effective.Allow the metal to dry before rinsing it off.While cleaning and handling metal, you can protect your skin from harsh cleaning agents and prevent fingerprints from being re-transferred.

Step 3: Put the metal in a container.

If you want to completely submerge the metal, you need to add vinegar to your container.Add an equal amount of salt to the vinegar, stir it thoroughly, and insert the metal so it can sit in the solution and create a vinegar-salt patina.Allow the metal to soak in the solutions for half an hour.Depending on factors such as soak time, metal composition, temperature, and more, this solution can produce many colors of patina.If you want to get more intense oxidation, first soak the metal.Salt and hydrogen peroxide can be added to the vinegar.

Step 4: If desired, intensify oxidation with peroxide.

Adding hydrogen peroxide and salt will cause iron to rust.Adding color, character, and realism can be done with this.Add hydrogen peroxide and salt to the solution for every four parts white vinegar in your container.If you have four cups of vinegar in your container, you need to add one cup hydrogen peroxide, and one half cup of salt.If you don’t know the amount of white vinegar in your container, remove your metal and pour it into a measuring cup.

Step 5: Allow the metal to dry.

If you want a natural look, you may want to leave your metal without a coat of sealant.It can be susceptible to fading.After your metal is dry, you can protect it with a clear coat.A smooth, hard barrier will be created between your patina and the forces that cause it to fade.There are waxes.Regular beeswax or renaissance wax is helpful for preserving the surface of the patina and its color.

Step 6: Determine the composition of your metal.

Some metals are made up of a single component, like gold and copper, but others are combinations like brass and steel.Some chemicals will work and others won’t.If you calculate the density of your metal, you can determine if it is one of the following common metals/alloys.It has a density of 2.7 g/ cm3 with most of its alloys.The copper is usually reddish in color.The density of deoxidized copper is 9.2 g/ cm3 (.322 lbs/in3).The iron is lustrous and gray in hue.Cast iron has a density of 7.5 g/ cm3 while wrought iron and steel have the same density.Silver is bright and shiny.The density of nickel silver is.303 lbs/in3.

Step 7: Make a list of the best chemical treatments for your patina.

Now that you know the type of metal you’re working with, you need to research what kind of chemical treatment will work best for it.Pre-mixed metal coloring solutions are one of the common treatments.Many of them work well on copper, brass, and bronze.Baldwin’s Patina can be used for copper and steel clays as well as brass, bronze, and copper metals.It works for many metals and alloys with the exception of brass, gold, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Step 8: Prepare the metal.

The surface of your metal could be polluted.After scrubbing it with dish soap and water, air dry it.If you want to clean dirtier pieces of metal, soak it in a degreaser overnight, rinse it with water, then allow it to dry.Clean gloves can prevent you from accidentally transferring oil from your hands to the metal.

Step 9: Follow the procedures for safe handling.

Many of the chemicals used to create a patina give off dangerous fumes that can cause harm or death if they build up, so work in an area with good airflow.Follow the directions that came with your chemicals carefully to ensure the safest and best results.Your hands should not come into contact with chemicals.When handling metal or chemicals, wear plastic or rubber gloves.Keep chemicals out of your eyes and mouth by wearing protective eyewear and a mask.Many of these can cause irritation, illness, or worse.

Step 10: Apply the chemicals with care.

Depending on the chemical treatment you’ve chosen for your metal, you may have to apply it directly to the metal’s surface, prepare it in a container then dunk it, and so on.Follow the instructions on your treatment’s label.Depending on the number of applications and soak time, many chemical treatments will change color.On the first dunking, there will be yellow/gold, pink/red, turquoise/purple, and gray.Some treatments need to be at a certain temperature.LOS should be prepared in hot water.

Step 11: Handle treated metal with care.

After you’ve applied the treatment, there may be harmful chemicals on the metal.Baking soda can be used to cover the metal completely and then rinse it clean.Before your metal is safe to handle barehanded, you may only need a quick rinse with clean water.Specific neutralizing agents may be required to render the solution harmless.

Step 12: If necessary, neutralize the chemical treatment.

Some chemicals will be dangerous after being prepared.Instructions for neutralization and disposal should be on the label of these chemicals.Baking soda can be added to neutralize chemical solutions if the chemical comes with a separate neutralizing agent.Exposure to light and air causes LOS to break down.Leaving a container of LOS open in a sunny area for a day will make it better.Children and animals should be kept out of aventilated area with any chemicals left out.

Step 13: If you want your patina to be protected, seal it.

Adding polish with a sealant, like a clear coat of acrylic, beeswax, or renaissance wax, can help preserve the color and consistency of your patina.For the most realistic look, sealed might be the best option.

Step 14: Purchase the supplies for your project.

You need a special kind of paint that has metal particles in it.This is called a surfacer.This will react with a special solution to make that look.You’ll need containers for paint and sealant, Degreaser, Gloves Metal, Plastic/rubber gloves, and Foam brush for this project.

Step 15: Your work area is ready.

Injury or death can be caused by fumes from the paint and solution you’ll be using.For this project, choose a wellventilated work area and a stable work surface.Paint can spread where you don’t want it to.You can catch paint droplets in your work area by laying a tarp or newspaper down.You may be able to work straight from the container or you may want to pour these into separate containers.If you decide to use a separate container for oxidizing paint, be sure to mix the paint with a stirrer thoroughly so that it is consistent throughout.

Step 16: Prepare the metal.

The surface of your metal can be polluted with dirt, oil, and other substances.Most metal can be cleaned with a little dish soap, warm water, and a good scrub.Allow it to dry before applying the paint.The best results will come from the most thorough cleaning.A soak in a degreaser will remove the contaminants from the crevices.Gloves will prevent you from accidentally leaving fingerprints.

Step 17: Apply your oxidizing paint.

The small metal particles in the paint can cause inconsistencies in your patina.Make sure the paint is smooth and consistent by mixing it with a paint stirrer.To apply paint to metal, use a clean foam brush.You have to follow the directions of your paint in order to get the best results.Two thin coats of paint should be applied with one hour of drying time between coats.You may need a few coats on your surface before it is completely covered with paint.

Step 18: The solution should be added.

Wait until the paint is tacky to the touch after the second coat.While checking tackiness, be sure to wear your gloves.Use liberal applications of the patina solution to create an intense effect.Consistency will lead to patchy patination.The patina solution can be used to gradually intensify the effect.You’re less likely to overshoot if you do this.Wait for the color to change.There are many factors that can affect the time it takes to oxidize.In 10 to 15 minutes, the color should change.

Step 19: Wait until it is dry, then adjust the patina as you please.

You will be able to see how the paint interacts with the solution at this point.Once the paint and solution are dry, you can modify the patina to your liking.Like paint, your imitation can fade over time.This can be prevented with a thin layer of clear sealant.