How to Use Chemical Patinas Correctly?

by Karen.
(Toronto)

How to Use Chemical Patinas Correctly? - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I have my own hand stamped jewelry shop and have decided to use a patina on my personalized pieces.

I have tried Liver of Sulpher and the stench of it nearly knocked me over.

I use nickel silver and the only chemical I could find was Jax Pewter Black.

I put an old disc in to it, full strength and the piece turned jet black within seconds!

I now understand you can’t do that lol.

But my question is, how do get that antiqued look on jewelry without it turning in to a black mess and what tools do I need to do that?

Karen
Feelings of Love Jewelry

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Comments

  1. Sarah S. says:

    The key to the black patina’s (liver of sulfer or Jax) is actually in the removal. You let the piece turn dark, then remove patina from the highpoints either through polishing or tumbling. This keeps the black in the details and really makes things stand out.

  2. Hi Karen, here’s a post that you may find helpful:
    Liver of Sulfur Patina Tutorial
    Also, I know this isn’t exactly what you asked, but here are two more ideas for creating an antiqued look on your metal:
    How to Give Metal an Oxidized Look (Tutorial)
    And depending on the colors you choose,
    Coloring Metal with Alcohol Ink (Tutorial).

  3. Catherine Franz says:

    Agree with Sarah. Many times it is the polishing and/or removing where the beauty emerges. I suggest experimenting with your Dremel/flex shaft abrasives. I created a journal, used a watercolor journal from Michaels because it has heavier paper, just for finishing.

    I practice by creating squares or using leftovers, using the patina, and then using an abrasive wheel and taped the results in my book with notes. I started mine 10+ years ago and still use it to this day.

  4. First, when I use Liver of Sulfur I do it outside so the smell is not as bad. Secondly be sure to have a bowl of clear water to dip you piece in to stop the patina process. And thirdly, dip your piece in the Liver of Sulfur a little at a time then pick it up to see how dark you wish the color to be. I dip my pieces several time before I’m happy with the color then rinse right away to stop the process. I also use buffing blocks to highlight the textures on the piece which bring out the highs and lows.

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