by Dorothy
(Ricmond, Virginia)

Hello Stacy, I really enjoyed your site with all the creative work that you do. In reading some of your step in the process I see you use lacquer, is this for just the patina process or could you use it just as a protector.

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Dorothy!

I only use the lacquer as a protectant for copper, brass and bronze. It has nothing to do with the patination process except to help preserve it once you have it the way you want.

I'm glad you are enjoying the site!

Comments for Lacquered

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Aug 16, 2012
by: Dorothy

In your reponse to my question about using lacquer, where do I get Lacquer. Is it the same kind that be in the craft stores or hardware stores. I am a self taught jewelry maker/artist which I have been doing on and off for over 25 yrs until 2010 I finally took a class in Intro to Making Metal Jewelry. I read, look at DVD's, but when lacquer is ever mention it's like you suppose to know about lacquer and jewelry. In my last post about compounds I mention about some of my copper and brass pieces was oxidizing so fast I am wondering is this product what I need to use.
Thank you for your patients and help!!!

Aug 16, 2012
Lacquer Sources and How To's Part One
by: Stacy

Hi Dorothy!

I use a product called Permalac EF (environmentally friendly) It's made by the Peacock Labs. I purchase it from You'll find it listed under Patina Supplies. It is NOT a very user-friendly product! It is not water-soluble, so if you goof up, the only way to remove it is by soaking the piece in MEK (methylethelkeytone) found in the paint department of your local home or hardware store. This will of course ruin any patina, so you've got to start all over again.

Because I live in a damp environment - lovely humid tropics :-) - I cannot use the lacquer in it's spray form. I buy the 8oz. can and either dip the item or brush the lacquer on. I blot the excess with a paper-towel and then use a hot blow dryer to quickly set the lacquer. If I notice any bubbles, I gently brush/smooth them out with a soft natural bristle brush like one for eye make-up dipped in strong acetone. Then reapply the lac to that area. In about 2 hours or so, the item will be dry. I often repeat the process to give 'high traffic" areas a second coating.

I have to do this all indoors in a very well ventilated area. Even so, the fumes are strong! The EF formula is not as bad as the regular formula. I was given a can of sculpt Nouveau's Clear Guard protective lacquer, which many people like, but have not tried it yet. I like the Permalac, despite it's tricky application, because it stops the metal from continuing to oxidize underneath the lacquer. Many lacs do not. I do not use it on wire for obvious reasons. I don't want to be able to see the coating and it might show in the spaces between wire.

Aug 16, 2012
Part Two
by: Anonymous

I have tried many other lacquer products like Rio's Midas Finish Seal Lacquer. It is cut with water (makes it user friendly) and it does not have a strong odor. However, it rubs or wears off quickly and does not prevent copper from continuing to just slows it down some. Rio now carries small bottles of Permalac, 1/2 oz for $7.75. I used to be able to buy an 8oz. can for $18. I don't know if it's still available. The Sculpture Depot also carries Clear Guard, 8oz for $13. You would have to contact them about the other.

I never use lacquer on silver or gold! I also try to avoid using it on necklace parts that will come in constant contact with the skin. I haven't found any of the lacquer products to be effective against folks with highly acidic wears through the lacquer pretty quicky. I know many folks who simply use Krylon spray lacquer available at Walmart, home improvement and hardware stores - and love it!

Try some of the products available and see which one best suits your needs. Start out easy, with Krylon say. If you need something different, then try Clear Guard or Permalac. I usually only use a sealant when I've applied a colored patina. The lacquer preserves it and prevents some surface patinas from flaking off.

When I sell products that may require frequent polishing or even the occasional touch-up, I include a polishing cloth with the purchase. With all that being said, sometimes letting a metal "age" or further develope it's patina with frequent wearing, can bless the wearer with some truly lovely results!

Aug 16, 2012
by: Dorothy

Stacy, thank you so much for the mini tutorial on Lacquer. Now I have a better understanding of its purpose and how to apply. I will start off with the Krylon which I uses after I retouch my mini dolls faces then try the others. Again Thank You and I will let you know the results.

Feb 26, 2013
Sealant - need advice please
by: Vonny

Hi there,

I've been looking everywhere for an answer but cant find it - please could you help?

I'm making dog ID tags with 3 layers (brass, copper and nickel silver being the main metals).

I'm oxidising using a black sharpie, then polishing, but want to add a sealant to protect from tarnishing, and scratches.

It needs to be toxin-free since dogs will be using it, and also cant be something that requires high maintenance from the owners (eg, polishing every 3 months).

I bought some Triple Thick Brillant Gloss Glaze spray from Beverley's, but a few seconds after spraying, it made the sharpie ink RUN and smudge all over the blank! *eek*

What sealant do you recommend that will hold up against all the things a dog will bump against, provide tarnish protection and also not make the sharpie ink run?


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