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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I remove metallic coatings?
    If it hasn't been on there for too long, acetone may do the trick but if not, paint stripper.
  • Why is it turning a greyish color?
    On Brass, there can be a little bit of grayish color. Or if something is Copper but Brass plated and the plating is not too thick, the Tribrown can attack the material. In these cases, it is recommended to further dilute the solution so that it doesn’t attack the metal that is too thinkly plated.
  • Why do I see a white residue after rinsing?
    These are more than likely hard water deposits. Try rinsing with distilled water OR rinse again and wipe clean, don’t allow water to set and dry on metal. Also, sometimes ocean front homes will experience this as the ocean moisture rests on the piece and evaporates, leaving the salt behind. A good sealer will protect the color but salt is very corrosive so a heavy duty sealer is recommended for oceanside homes.
  • Can Electro Cleaner affect the color?
    Electro Cleaner can definitely affect the patina color. The best method to clean is: Cleaner 104 then wash thoroughly with water then apply C-33, Rinse really well with water. The C-33 should be diluted as per instructions.
  • Why is it flaking off?
    Like many of the problems incurred with Patina's, this is more than likely due to improper cleaning. Clean well using Cleaner 104 or Ajax/Comet in conjunction with a scotch brite pad. Also, make sure to dilute F-1401 with water as per instructions. An undiluted/concentrated solution can also cause flaking. Lastly, if it is not dried right away, rust can build up and then flake. Therefore, the part must be dried immediately. Then lacquered.
  • Does it work on Magnesium?
    Yes, it should.
  • What are the red particles & bad smell coming from the filter?
    There are tiny red particles that will develop that are a reaction between the Selenium and the steel. More specifically, the carbon in the steel. That is also the source of the rotten eggs smell. The higher amount of carbon, the more reaction. These particles need to be collected with a filter and disposed of as per county/state law. And a proper acid gas respirator should be worn when applying F-1401.
  • Problem: When the patina'd part is heated & bent, those parts are rusting."
    This happens often when you heat and bend the metal, those specific parts are exposing new metal….essentially opening the pores of the metal and exposing them. Thus, moisture is penetrating and corroding from the inside. A penetrating wax or oil (such as Metal Oil) applied to these parts can help prevent this from happening.
  • Why did the solution stop reacting?
    If you are using a bath or have the solution in a tank, you need to monitor the pH and make sure it is between 0 & 2,. If it gets over 4, it probably will cease reacting as it is becoming neutral. You will need to add more fresh solution.
  • Why does the color rub off after it is applied and rinsed?
    Solder has different allow compositions. The more lead, the better. The more tin, the worse. Try and use solder with more lead than tin.
  • Once applied, will it oxidize like Copper?"
    How can you make these more blue or green?
  • Why is it flaking?
    This is due to over application. If the product is over applied, it will start to stick to itself and flake. Make sure to apply a thin coat. The Spra-Tool we sell can help apply it evenly and in a fine mist. Clean the part with Cleaner 104 and a scotch brite pad, removing all the patina, then re-apply the patina as a fine mist and allow to dry.
  • How can you make these more blue or green?
    Ammonia will generally make them more blue and chlorides will generally make them more green. Add a spray of 1 qt/5 gallons of water of ammonia to turn more blue. Add a spray of about 1 lb/gallon of water of sodium chloride to make more green. These solutions should be sprayed on after the parts have been patina'd. Generally, as the patina is drying but not fully dry. Again, just a fine mist.
  • Problem: Not turning to Tin.
    Sometimes the solution loses its potency after repeated use. With more use, more and more Tin gets deposited on the pieces and so less and less Tin remains in the solution. The deposit is very thin and with a used solution, it's even MORE thin to the point where eventually, there is no more Tin metal in the solution. Adding fresh solution will help keep the solution active. Also, very typical for the solution to turn cloudy and yellow after repeated us
  • Why am I seeing white crystallization?
    Need to rinse well with distilled water. Could be hard water deposits as well
  • Should I rinse the Rusty Red-F like you are meant to do with the other patinas?
    Yes and no. If you want the Rust color, you can seal once you achieve a color you like. Or you can leave it unsealed and let it oxidize more naturally with time. If you develop a rust color and rinse & rub off the top layer of the color, you will get a very nice, coppery Salmon like color. Two colors for the price of one!
  • Does it corrode the steel?
    Yes, a little bit.
  • Can cold weather have an effect on the patina?
    Both the solution AND the metal should ideally be at room temperature (or at least warmer than 60 degrees). If the metal is too cold, it constricts & closes up and will not allow the patina to penetrate the surface. Resultantly, no patina appears. The solution similarly, should be warmed up to warmer than 60 degrees to work effectively. If you have a warehouse that gets very cold at night, it is suggested to keep the solution in the office or somewhere warmer- especially overnight. The metal should also be warmed up somehow in order to accept patina effectively. You don't want the metal to be sitting in direct sunlight either because metal retains heat exceptionally well and if the metal is hotter than 85 degrees, the patina solution will flash/evaporate right off before it even has a chance to do anything. Room temperature for both metal & solution are recommended- 65-85 degrees F.
  • Not getting a consistent color or the color is rubbing off.
    Generally speaking, when there is a problem with patina application, the problem can be traced back to the cleaning process about 95% of the time. Please make sure to use Cleaner 104 and a scotch brite pad if you are experiencing problems. You will need to use some muscle and scrub the Cleaner onto the metal as just applying the cleaner and washing it off will not suffice. Do NOT use acetone, alcohol, any sort of solvent as these things all leave residues on the metal and will have an adverse effect on the patina color. Even if a piece is sand blasted, please clean it afterwards with Cleaner 104 to ensure the piece is clean and ready to accept patina.
  • Why do I see a white residue after rinsing?
    These are more than likely hard water deposits. Try rinsing with distilled water OR rinse again and wipe clean, don’t allow water to set and dry on metal. Also, sometimes ocean front homes will experience this as the ocean moisture rests on the piece and evaporates, leaving the salt behind. A good sealer will protect the color but salt is very corrosive so a heavy duty sealer is recommended for oceanside homes.
  • Can you dilute them?
    Yes, with distilled water- 10-15% maximum.
  • What are the white spots when the sealer dries?
    This is the flattening agent that has not dissolved well. Mix the solution for five minutes and test before reapplying.
  • Why does it go bad so quickly?
    The potash does not do well when exposed to air. That is why it is vacuum sealed when you receive it. If you can vacuum seal it again, that would be a great way to preserve it otherwise, put it in water. This is a great way to keep potash fresh. The material in potash absorbs the moisture in the air and that’s why potash can go bad if vacuum sealed bag is opened and all the potash is not used. Dilution rate would be 1 lb potash per 1 gallon of water. This will last a long time: 6 months-1 year (if not longer). However, it is still too strong to use as patina so you need to dilute it with water- maybe 1 to 1 to use as patina. More dilution will give you a less black/intense color.
  • How can you remove mold from metal?
    To remove mold from metal, clean it first with a mild detergent and a scotch brite pad. Remove as much of it as you can. This only removes the mold but it does not kill it. To kill off all the mold and all its spores, use a 10% diluted bleach solution. Bleach should not affect a patina as it is an alkaline.
  • What is the best method to apply in bath?
    In a barrel that is constantly turning so that it deposits the color equally and evenly distributed. Also, keeping the temp of the tank at room temp is better because at warmer temperatures, more metal is extracted from the solution and deposited on the metal and thus the solution becomes less potent more quickly. Also, after a night of having the tank not heated, when it is heated in the morning again, make sure to mix it. Add replenisher or fresh solution and make sure to filter the bath.
  • How do you clean equipment that has interacted with these sealers?
    If they are still tacky, solvents like Acetone or Xylene work well. Once they've cured & hardened, Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover is a good option in addition to perhaps some light sanding. If you intend on leaving the patina undisturbed and depending on how thick the sealer has been applied, start with a high grit sand paper first (i.e. 400) and then move your way down.
  • What is the best way to apply sealers?
    While spraying is the best and recommended application method for most our sealers, we understand that spraying is not always an option. Rolling is the second best method. We recommend a short nap, 3/8" and a traditional roller...not foam. Solvents in the sealers can make plastic melt and that is why we don't recommend foam rollers. Similarly, use a metal paint tray...not plastic. Re-coat within 1-4 hours.
  • How can you make it more blue?
    Steel with more carbon will turn more blue. Also, if you leave it on less time, the color will be lighter, or more blue. Play with dilution rates and exposure time.
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