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Topic: Using Miracle Grow to patina copper  (Read 7984 times)
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« on: June 01, 2010 02:40:04 PM »

My goal is to add a darker patina (preferably not the greenish/bluish, but more the darker brownish) to this copper bracelet I made last week:

I've read that one can use Miracle Grow (the plant food) to add patina to copper pieces.

I'm looking for advice as to how to do this properly. I have the MG, but I don't know exactly what to do with it.

If not the MG, are there any other easy/cheap methods for adding patina to a small copper piece? If so, how is it done?


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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010 04:19:47 PM »

You can use household ammonia. Dap it on a let it sit over night exposed to air. The more you add the more crystals will grow but hey will be flaky so just a bit.  I would not use fertilizer because it has other unneeded chemicals in it. There are also other  things you can get at a paint store if you want. PM me if you want to know more. I love patina so have several methods. Some get blue some get green.

« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010 05:30:23 PM »

omg really miracle grow?! I'll have to try it! The reason it might work is that it's basically minerals salts (synthetic fertilizer are just that) and using a brine solution is sometimes used to add a patina. It might work but then you could also try salt water or plain vinegar. Just use a paint brush to brush the solution on. It might take several weeks to get the color you want though. Once you have the color you want you basically just rinse away the vinegar or salt off to stop the oxidation.

I wouldn't suggest ammonia since it will give it a blue/green patina instead of just the dark brown you want. You might be able to do it if you leave it in for only a few minutes but it still might be too black/blue.

I've had success using boiled eggs for brass (which is an allow of copper and zinc) so it might work for copper. I just boil eggs until the yellows are solid. I would get a tupperware container large enough for a couple of diced eggs and the bracelet leaving enough room so they don't touch. I cut a couple of eggs in quarters, eggshells and all,(while still hot) to expose the yellows and put them in the container with the bracelet and close the lid right away. Check on it after 5 minutes or so to see how dark it's gotten and continue until it's the right shade. If it's still not dark enough and the eggs have gone cold just put the eggs in the microwave to get them hot again.

good luck!


« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010 08:22:44 PM »

There are alot of really good patina recipes on Bsueboutiques.com. As far as the egg I have done that and had great results didn't worry about the warmth of the eggs either. The sulfer in the eggs is what does it. Good luck
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010 01:36:34 PM »

I never would have thought to use eggs. Nifty.

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