by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Patinas add warmth to metal (bare clean copper, bronze or silver) as well as offer an antiqued effect, enhancing the recesses of a textured finish. Patina Gel is a stable patina that has a long shelf life.
Mix a small amount of ammonia or soap with warm water to create a bath for the metal to be patinated. Clean the metal to remove any oils or dirt left on the surface of the metal. The patina will not work well if the surface is not clean.
Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in one bowl of cold water to create a neutralizing bath.
Add a drop or two of patina gel to a bowl of warm water. The water should not be boiling as that would create harmful sulfur-dioxide fumes. Stir the water to mix in the gel.
Note: The darker the color the less control you will have on the colors achieved in the patina process.
While wearing a glove, dip the polished and cleaned metal into the solution.
Remove the item and dip it into a bowl of plain cold water.
Repeat Step 4 and 5 until you are happy with the net result of the patina.
The dipping process will be like adding multiple layers of patina rather than just one, it will also allow you to control the colors on the metal better; you may like the gold or purple achieved mid-way to black.
Once you are happy with the color achieved, put the piece into the neutralizing bath to stop the patina process and hold the color.
Rinse the piece in clean water then dry it.
Wrap the Moonshine polishing cloth around the handle of a tool then rub the cloth against the surface of the piece you patinated.
Polishing the piece this way will remove the patina from the high areas and leave the patina in any recesses. If you don't wrap the cloth around a stick, the cloth will conform to the surface of the item and remove the patina from all levels.
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