View Full Version : Need Good Photo of Patina

06-09-2008, 12:15 PM
We installed some lighting for a client a week or two ago and now she writes me wondering about the "discoloration" on her path lights. My bad for not taking the time with her to explain Patina - why and how that happens. And why it's a good thing. I hardly ever install copper stuff, so I forgot to explain this to her.

Anyway, I want to write back explaining it to her. But I'd really love a nice photo of a copper pathway light with some good patina on it to show her what I am talking about.

Anyone have a photo like that you wouldn't mind posting so I could use it for that purpose? I tried to find one online but had little success.

06-09-2008, 12:23 PM
try FX'x website


06-09-2008, 12:43 PM
Thanks! Yah, I actually installed FX on this job too - so that's perfect. I just didn't realize the photos on their site showed the patina. I typically use Unique.

06-09-2008, 01:36 PM

Theres a few different pictures of natural patina.

Chris J
06-09-2008, 04:23 PM
I hope this works out well for you. If that customer is complaining about the discoloration, he/she is probably going to reject the whole concept of patina. I find that people either love it or hate it, and if she's questioning it I'm assuming she's gonna be one of the haters.
Good luck, and let us know how she responds.

06-09-2008, 04:58 PM
thats funny Jim... Most of our clients cant wait til the fixtures start to patina. Most raise the concearn about the bright copper but we simply explain it to them using an old penny as a comparison and how it will darken on its own fairly quickly.

We has 1 job that was irrigated with lake water that the fixtures darkened before we completed the 2 day job!

06-09-2008, 08:16 PM
Yah, she may. But I think once I explain it she'll understand. She tends to get worked up about almost everything we've done for her over the years. Then I have to kind of hold her hand and explain how something works or why we did something that way and suddenly she's happy.

If not, I'll just swap them out for some Unique brass path lights, which is what I typically use. Those take forever to patina. I've had some near my driveway for a good 3.5 years now and not much patina at all yet.

Eden Lights
06-09-2008, 08:42 PM
Don't you guys paint your stuff with yogart and wrap in plastic bags before each install, slackers!

06-09-2008, 11:03 PM
We have all out copper and brass products antiqued prior to assembly. I think it looks better than bright, shiny copper or brass that will get oily fingerprints on it as people handle the fixtures. We even offer copper screws now, so everything patina's evenly. It was well worth the wait to have them made.

06-09-2008, 11:29 PM
Don't you guys paint your stuff with yogart and wrap in plastic bags before each install, slackers!


Never heard of that method, but I'll bet it would work...

I wonder how used beer would do...

06-10-2008, 03:36 AM
Want ultrafast patina? Sulferated Potash, 1 teaspoon in a spray bottle filled with water. Clean the copper completely to get all of the oils from your hands off of it. Spray it, and it will patina nearly to its full extent in about 30 seconds. You will have a nice rich brown with some flecks of green.

06-10-2008, 11:35 AM
Wow... good info.. thanks.

From Wikipedia:

Sulfurated potash is a poorly defined mixture of potassium sulfide, potassium polysulfide, potassium thiosulfate, and probably potassium bisulfide. Synonyms include hepar sulfuris, Liver of sulfur, sulfurated potash, sulfurated potassa.

Liver of sulfur is mainly used in metalworking to form a patina, turning copper alloys brown.

Liver of sulfur was once used in pharmaceutical preparations such as “white lotion”. At one time sulfurated potash was used to combat arthritis. It is not surprising that it fell into disfavor because sulfides and polysulfides are toxic.

Potassium sulfides are formed when black powder is burned, and are important intermediates in many pyrotechnic effects, such as senko hanabi and some glitter formulations. The compound is not added directly to the fireworks but rather forms during their combustion[2].

Full article:


06-10-2008, 03:59 PM
I believe Ammonia will work too. You can buy a product to patina copper at most hobby stores that sell supplies for stained glass work.

06-10-2008, 05:10 PM