Creating the look of Copper Patina

Patina (pəˈtiːnə):  a weathering formed on the surface of copper, bronze and similar metals.

I love the look of copper- especially when it has a beautiful green patina. We recently installed these pieces at The 128 Cafe - I love how the colors change depending on the time of day and the amount of light coming in the restaurant!
After the holidays, I'm going to paint the duct in the front room with a metallic paint that has another layer that goes on top and supposedly will patina it when applied. That is a project for January - I will let you know how it works out!
Raw copper will naturally patina over time, but here's an easy formula to speed up the process. You'll need:
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups non-detergent ammonia
  • 1/2 cup non-iodized salt
  • Mix solution in a plastic spray bottle until salt dissolves 

  • Spread newspaper in your work area
  • Clean your piece with a Windex-type cleaner.
  • Premix patina solution in Windex-type spray bottle

(Please use CAUTION when handing and applying patina solution. Wear gloves and safety glasses, and follow safety instructions on the containers.)

  • Spray Windex cleaner on piece to break surface tension, leaving it on when you apply patina solution.
  • Spray patina solution onto piece

  • Allow to set for 1 hour. 
  • Reapply solution where needed after seeing results of first application. 
  • If there seems to be areas repelling the patina solution, clean it off with the Windex cleaner.

More waiting....
Allow to sit overnight.

The result will be a bright green powdery patina! Do not rub off. In time (and re-applications) this finish will become permanent and the brightness will fade with time.

To reduce green, cut back on the salt content. Color and effect is greatly affected by application ambient temperature and humidity. Enjoy!