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!
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 wire....it 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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