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Liver Of Sulfur For Darkening Copper

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by SignMan17, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. SignMan17

    SignMan17 New Member

    Feb 15, 2017
    Has anyone ever used this method of oxidization to darken copper? I'm making a specialty sign for a time share company where the price is no factor and curious about different methods of adding a rusted-looking finish similar to patina. From what I have found online the liver of sulfur seems to be to route I will be taking but I have never done this before so is there a different method I should consider? How should I go about application? Any help is greatly appreciated. Below is what I am trying to recreate -Sign Man

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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    That's not really a safe way to do it, unless you really know what you're doing, not to mention the smells that will occur and chemical reactions. Need gloves, eye protection and a well ventilated area for that method..... especially with the size piece you're considering.

    Vinegar and salt mixture will also work.

    Not many people will go to these lengths anymore, they'll just do it with varnish mixtures and paint it on and wipe and give it a faux finish. You'll be amazed at how well that works.
  3. SignMan17

    SignMan17 New Member

    Feb 15, 2017
    Thanks for your reply Gino, I have all the protection I will need and also I would do it outside to be extra safe. I have experimented with some other methods but haven't found one that seems to give the effect I am aiming for. The main goal is to recreate the quality of the sign they brought us and obviously whoever made this knew what they were doing. This is a good client of ours and we want to produce the best work we can for them and like I said before the price doesn't matter
  4. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

    Mar 7, 2007
    Washington State
    If you go this route, I'd mix a very light solution with more water than suggested. You can get the desired result more effectively if you go slow and in stages.
    Take some time to experiment. Keep a water hose handy so you can flush the copper quickly if you find that the chemical reaction is progressing too rapidly. Vinegar and water mixture can be used to alter the appearance of the oxidation.
    I used to use this process for copper many years ago when we did a lot of custom and creative finishes on full sheets of various metals for a custom architectural details company.
    You might also consider looking into Chemetal® products. They produce a number similar finishes in ready to use 4x8 and 4x10 sheets. I'ts a great product.
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