Remove Patina from Copper

My first try at using LOS was not good. It was evidently to strong and my copper piece came out black. How do I remove the patina? I want to start over. I saw in another question that I should use SPAREX #1, what is this, can I make it or where do I get it?

Thanks, Jeann Gehrt

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Jeann!

You can control how dark the patina is in a couple of ways. First, try using a solution that is not quite so hot! Then dip only for a second or two. Look at the color of your piece. If you want it darker, dip again.

If your patina color is too dark, then remove the excess by buffing or rubbing with either 0000 steel wool or using a very fine 3M scrubby pad available now in the paint department of Home Depots. The grey color 3M pads seem to work really well without leaving scratches on your metal. Buff until you bring up the desired amount of copper color or you've removed as much of the patina as you like. Then tumble for 3-4 hours to remove more of the patina and also polish and clean the piece.

If when removing the item from the tumbler, it's still too dark for your tastes, just buff it some more with the scrubby pad and re-tumble. I usually finish the jewelry by polishing by hand using a Sunshine polishing cloth or other quality chemical-enhanced polishing cloth to remove more of the oxidation and add a super shine to the piece.

As to the Sparex #1? Yes. The acid mixture (a granular acid compound used to remove torch residue from metal) in your crock pot will remove a lot of things from the metal including too much LOS patina. :) But, it also removes the polished finish you may have had on the metal, meaning that you'll have to re-polish and patina the piece after removing from the pickle. Most jewelry supply companies, including my Etsy store carry the Sparex No2.

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