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Here's How You Get Shiny Copper Patina

Don't you love how your piece looks when it is foiled before it is soldered? That shiny copper foil just sparkles. Why, oh why then, is it so hard to get copper patina to look as good as the copper foil. The simple answer is tarnish! A beautiful patina finish is always about how the metal is prepared and cleaned before you apply the patina. So here are a couple of tricks we use at Stained Glass Express to get that professional look for copper patina. 1. After soldering, clean your piece with patina and flux remover. Then rinse well with tap water. Dry all the solder lines with a paper towel so there is no tap water left on the piece. 2. When the piece is dry, mix a solution of 3 parts distilled water and 1 part ammonia. Scrub the solder lines and joints with fine steel wool (0000) dipped in the ammonia solution. Scrub until all of the solder is a consistent satin finish silver. 3. Dry the piece with a paper towel. It is important at this point not to use tap water because the additives or minerals in the water may react with the patina. 4. Dip a paper towel into the patina and rub it all over the piece to cover the solder lines. The patina should come out very shiny. If there are spots that are not shiney, that means there is still tarnish on the solder in those places. Repeat the process over those spots to correct the problem. 5. Dry the solder lines and the glass with another dry paper towel. Immediately apply polishing compound and follow the manufacturers directions for the product.