How to Age Copper

It can take five or more years for atmospheric conditions to produce a copper patina, but you can produce an attractive artificial patina in a much shorter time.

You will need

  • Protective gear
  • A copper object
  • A commercial metal cleaner
  • Ammonium chloride crystals
  • Water
  • A paintbrush
  • 1 c. lemon juice
  • 1 c. table salt
  • 1 c. household ammonia
  • 1 c. vinegar
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner (optional)

Step 1 Clean the surface Remove any dirt, oil, or grease from the surface of the copper object. They will interfere with the chemical action of the aging solution.

Step 2 Prepare an ammonium chloride solution Add ammonium chloride crystals to water until no more will dissolve, and brush the solution on the thoroughly cleaned copper surface.

Step 3 Prepare a patina solution Make a patina solution using one cup each of lemon juice, table salt, household ammonia, and vinegar

Step 4 Apply the patina solution to the copper surface Apply the solution to the clean metal surface and allow it to react.