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Triple S Chemicals - Patinas

Patinas in Los Angeles, California

About Patinas & Patina How To Tips

How Metal Patina Chemicals are Used

Patina is seen as aesthetically pleasing and can complement a building, structure, statue, jewelry, or any other metal object. They produce all of the various shades of blue & blue/green. We understand the patina process and are happy to help with your project!

 

Here is a basic start on achieving different patina colors:

For deep brown finishes:

  1. Ammonium sulfide base

  2. Potassium sulfide base

For green patina finishes:

  1. Ammonium sulfate base

  2. Ammonium chloride base

  3. Cuprous chloride/hydrochloric acid base

NEMO Science Center, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

A Little More About Patina Chemicals

Patinas are often used by artists as surface embellishments to change the color and/or texture of an item or surface. Patination composition changes based on the way it reacts to different elements, determining the end color of the patina. For example, copper alloys exposure to chlorides leads to green, while sulfur compounds will turn brown.

 

Patinas on copper alloys includes chemicals like:

  • Ammonium sulfide - blue-black patina 

  • Liver of sulfur - brown-black patina

  • Cupric nitrate - blue-green patina

  • Ferric nitrate - yellow-brown patina

 

Patination is often accelerated by applying chemicals along with the use of heat. You can achieve anywhere from a matte sandstone yellow to deep blues, greens, whites, reds and blacks. Once complete, some like to enhance the surface by using wax, oils, or other types of lacquers or clear-coats.

How to be Safe with Patina Chemicals

Patinas are made up of toxic chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled, or if it comes into contact with skin or eyes, and they are flammable. All proper safety attire and precautions must be taken when using patinas. As a good rule of thumb, any equipment you would wear or use in a chemical science lab should also be used when applying patina chemicals, including gloves and goggles, and proper ventilation should be used. All work surfaces should be protected with non porous materials to protect them while working with patinas. If using patinas on wearable items, the chemical should not be applied to any part of the object that will be in contact with skin, even if it is sealed, and they should never be used on items that are used with food. Be sure to use a proper sealant when the patination is complete to protect it.