It is a natural protective layer on carbon steels that prevents further oxidation and imparts a rough appearance. It is produced by the oxidation of the steel’s surface, and this process is accelerated when a knife is exposed to various acids.
1. Pewter patina
After embossing and filling the design with wax, it is applied to the completed pewter piece. It can be applied with a paintbrush, a foam applicator, or cotton balls.
The patina works by settling into the recesses created by your pewter design’s embossing. The longer you leave the patina on, the darker the metal becomes, adding depth and dimension to your pewter artwork.
Before applying patina, it is essential to thoroughly clean your pewter with Methylated Spirits to remove any oily residue on the metal; otherwise, the patina will not “take” and the pewter will be difficult to polish.
Leaded pewter has a “right” side and a “wrong” side, and patina will not adhere to the wrong side. When the lighting is poor, it can be difficult to distinguish the incorrect side, which has a bluish hue. A helpful tip is to test which side is the correct side by applying a small amount of patina to a corner that will not be visible once the design is complete.
Things to keep in mind when working with patina a) Patina is extremely corrosive
It is essential to wear gloves when working with patina, as it is a highly corrosive chemical liquid.
Caution should be exercised when working with patina, and it should not come in contact with your embossing tools, as this will cause it to rust.
If you accidentally exposed your tools to patina, immediately rinse them with clean water to neutralize the patina’s effect.
b) Patina can be diluted
If you believe that the patina has made the pewter too dark, you can dilute it with a small amount of water.
Mix a small amount of patina and water in a separate, small container, just enough to complete the current project.
c) Patina may become contaminated and lose its effectiveness.
When working with patina, I recommend pouring a small amount into a small container and using a separate piece of cotton wool or fiber for each application.
If you use the same cotton ball you used to apply patina, the remaining patina will become contaminated and lose its effect, turning the pewter brown instead of black.
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This video demonstrates how to use copper patina to add copper highlights to pewter.
2) Patina process for Aluminium
Patina does not adhere to aluminum and will not darken it, so the process for giving it an aged appearance differs slightly.
Black craft paint is the most straightforward and cost-effective method for aging aluminum.
Adding “patina” to Aluminium using black craft paint
Black shoe polish or coal stove polish are additional options for aging aluminum.
Justyna asked how to perform the patina process for copper-plated aluminum in her final inquiry.