Caring For Copper Fixtures

CAUTION SHOULD BE EXERCISED WHEN HANDLING AND APPLYING PATINA SOLUTION – WEAR GLOVES AND SAFETY GLASSES. FOLLOW SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY ON THE CONTAINERS.

Before you get started:

  • Spread newspaper under plant material to protect it. It is best to install pathlight fixtures first, then apply solution.
  • Fixtures should be clean of oil and dirt with Windex-type cleaner.
  • Caution should be exercised throughout process—wear safety goggles and gloves.
  • Place newspaper or drop cloth over plants to prevent damage. It is best to install fixtures first, then apply solution.

GREEN PATINA FORMULA – to Verde the copper

  • 2 Parts: White Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Parts: Non-detergent Ammonia
  • 1/2 Parts: Non-idiozed salt

BROWN PATINA FORMULA – to darken the copper (like a penny)

  • Hot Water
  • Baking Soda
  • Place the hot water in a bottle. Add enough baking soda until it will not dissolve anymore when shaking the bottle.
Step 1: Clean
Clean fixture with soft cloth and Windex®-type cleaner. This is to remove oil and dirt.
Step 2: Spray
Spray Windex®-type cleaner on fixture to break surface tension. Do not wipe off – proceed to next step.
Step 3: Prepare
Combine either the green patina formula or the brown patina formula ingredients in spray bottle.
Step 4: Apply
Apply patina solution (made in step 3) by spraying onto fixture, preferably in the early evening on a high-humidity night.

Allow first coat to set, then reapply solution observing where you missed applying on the first coat. If there seems to be oil that is repelling the patina solution, clean it off with the
Windex cleaner.

Step 5: Cover
Allow to sit overnight. In low humidity desert areas, use a plastic bag to create a tent over fixture (without making contact with it) to help keep the humidity high during curing. If there is a low moisture in the air, the solution will dry out.
Step 6: Admire
The resulting patina will be an earth-toned mix of browns and greens. Do not rub off. In time (and reapplication) this finish will become permanent. The brightness will fade with time. To reduce green, cut back on the salt content. The brown patina formula is not as powdery as the green patina formula and will not need as many re-applications
NOTE: Color and effect is greatly affected by application ambient temperature and humidity.

There are many commercially available compounds that will brighten copper and brass. These include Brasso which applies like car wax. To make the shine permanent, you must live in a strong sun area, any clear finish you put on will get baked off in time.



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