Friday Tutorial – Vintage Verdigis Patina

02/05/2010 § Leave a comment

Hello everyone and welcome Friday!  I’ve been doing a fair amount of research lately on achieving different patinas on metal for jewelry making.  I have too many “bright and shiny” pieces that just don’t fit into the style I’m currently pursuing.  I found a very cheap and easy way to quickly antique and get that wonderful green Verdigris patina that I thought I’d share.  But first a few pictures of this gorgeous color as it naturally occurs.

Verdigris patina occurs naturally when metal (most commonly bronze) is left exposed to the elements and it gets a coating of oxides and carbonates.  It results in the gorgeous green coating that artists try to duplicate with methods like the one I describe below.  The most famous example of Verdigris is of course, the Statue of Liberty.

First you need (clean) cat litter.  It needs to be the non-clumping kind.

Next you need vinegar.  It’s supposed to be plain white, household vinegar but I only had cider vinegar and that worked just fine.

Put the cat litter in a plastic, zip lock bag and add enough vinegar to barely wet the litter.

Put the items you would like to Patina in the bag, seal it up and put it aside for a few hours.  Check periodically until the desired patina is desired.

I left mine overnight and had a great deal of the green stuff.  I used warm water and a soft scrub brush to remove the excess and achieve my desired look.  You can also use low grade steel wool.   Keep in mind that the green is going to gradually wear off the pieces, so a thin spray coating of sealer would be a good idea.  Please note, I know this works with Copper and Brass but have no idea about silver!!

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