Introduction: Salt & Vinegar Patina

Copper has the potential to turn into some pretty great colors, but that often requires tools/supplies that the average person might not have. This Instructable is going to show you how to achieve green and blue copper patina using two common household ingredients: salt and vinegar.

Step 1: BoM



glass bowl

paper towels

dish soap

copper pieces

sand paper, metal stamps, texturing tools etc.

The ratio for salt to vinegar is 1:1, I used 3 tablespoons of each so that I had enough to cover the pieces I want to patina but not so much as I feel like I'm being wasteful.

Step 2: Prep

Prepare your copper by sanding it and adding stampings/texture, this gives the patina something to hold onto.

Step 3: Clean

After you have sanded and stamped your copper, wash it with dish soap and dry it in a towel. Do your best to keep your fingers off of the copper.

Step 4: Salt & Vinegar

In a glass bowl, mix the salt and vinegar together. You want to dissolve as much of the salt as you can. Put the copper into the salt and vinegar mix and let it sit for a minimum of 45 minutes.

Step 5: Dry

Remove the copper pieces from the salt and vinegar solution and place on a paper towel. Let the copper air dry, do not blot. Do not handle the copper pieces.

The first two pictures shows a copper tag that I didn't soak in the solution, I guess some salt and vinegar got on it and it started developing a little patina.

It's a little hard to see, but in the 4th picture blue patina has started developing around the lightening bolt. This was just after 30 minutes out of the solution.

Step 6: Develop

For a heavier patina, let your copper sit for several hours to a couple of days. You can also add more salt or paper towel with some of the vinegar solution to the pieces to help speed up the process. It's always a good idea to let them "over develop" than under develop because you can scrape the excess patina off later.

Step 7: Rinse

Under a light stream of water, gently wash your pendant. You can also take this time to scrub off excess patina if you only want a little on it. Let dry on paper towel.

I rinsed these two pieces approximately 18 hours after they were initially removed from the solution. I just wanted to see how far they'd progressed. The other pieces I left longer and will add pictures of when they're done.

Step 8: Seal

After a day or so you'll want to seal your copper pieces. This can be done with beeswax, a jewelry wax like Renaissance Wax, or a clear sealer like Mod Podge, Glossy Accents, Nikolas Laquer, etc. Follow the manufacturer instructions when applying and curing.

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