Keeping patina on copper wire

by Justine

Hi! I just recently bought some bare copper wire and liver of sulfur to patina it with. I was wondering if I should seal the wire with something to keep the patina on or if it will stay on by itself. If so, what kind would you recommend? Thank you!

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Justine!

There's no easy answer here. Even with a patina added, copper will continue to oxidize, changing the look of the patina. Folks consider this either a bonus or a bane! You can add a protective coating such as a lacquer to the copper wire to preserve its finish, but I personally have not been a fan of lacquer on just does not seem to wear well and the application can be tricky. Waxes such as Renaissance cannot be properly applied to all areas of a finished wire piece.

Lacquer is a popular choice. Many people like Krylon for ease of application or Clear Guard. I prefer Permalac EF, but it's not as "user friendly" meaning it's more difficult to apply. For my personal jewelry with copper, I give the metal a LOS patina and simply apply a good buffing with a Sunshine Polishing cloth from Rio Grande to polish and restore some bright copper highlights when the metal starts looking dullish. Works great! I include a small Sunshine Cloth with the purchase of unlacquered copper items.

Try different products out there and see which you find works best for your needs. In a cool or dry climate, copper needs less maintenance than here in humid, hot Florida.

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