Jewelry Making Resource July 18: Green Verdigris Recipe

By on July 18, 2012
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by Rose Marion,

With alternative metals like copper and bronze becoming more and more popular, it’s only natural to notice how much the colors change over time! While some of us try to resist the tarnish with products like Renaissance Wax, ProtectaClear, or simply lots of tarnish cloths, others embrace the colorful effects of time.

Most of us know about Liver of Sulfur, which will give copper and silver a beautiful blackened effect, which you can brush off with steel wool for an antique effect. But there are certainly other ways to get a patina on metal, and in different colors! Here’s a neat video I found which explains how to give copper a green verdigris patina:

Video by Brynmorgen Press

What a neat idea, I’m putting it on my “To-Try” list! How about you: do you use patinas on your jewelry – Liver or Sulfur, or do you know some good “recipes” like this video showed? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. avatar


    July 18, 2012 at 7:17 am

    great idea, I love when I can make things from products I have at home instead of paying the high prices from jewelry making catalogs.
    does everyone know they can darken silver by putting half a hard boiled egg in a jar and suspending their jewelry above it. be careful, it works fast.

    • avatar


      July 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

      The hard boiled egg makes sense as it also contains sulphur. I’m going to have to try it!

  2. avatar

    Susan Lindsey

    July 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I got nice coloring on copper with a small torch – heat gives a lot of interesting colors. Until I used too much heat and just got black. This is one of those techniques where less is more.


    • avatar


      August 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Sue, I have also used my little torch to add beautiful colors to copper. If it goes black, you can throw them in a pickling solution and it will take pretty much all the color off and you can start again. Pickling solution is made with a product named Sparex and it’s mixed with water and put in a little mini-crock pot as it works better if it’s quite warm. I just keep my solution in the little pot and warm it up when I think I’ll need it.

  3. avatar


    July 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Nice tip–I’m anxious to try it. I love the verdigris finish. Thanks for providing it.

  4. avatar


    July 18, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I’ve found that Clorox Mildew Root Remover works well. I lay the piece on a pad of paper towels inside a container, spray on the Mildew remover, and place the lid on securely. Then I sit it on my porch to bake in the sun. Provides a nice green patina on copper.

    Alternatively, straight ammonia on the piece (laying on a paper towel pad in a plastic container) then sprinkled with sea salt produces a sapphire blue patina on copper. The longer you leave it the more dramatic the patina. It will dissolve iron-based plated beads if you leave it in for too long.

    You have to be careful with chemicals, though. Mixing bleach (root remover) and ammonia can create deadly Chlorine gas.

    • avatar


      July 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Great ideas, Laura! I will have to try that ammonia and sea salt treatment, thanks!

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    Linda Kropp

    July 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    This is very interesting–I didn’t know that vinegar and ammonia together would work. I just love the look of verdegris. I’m wondering how people apply this kind of treatment to copper and bronze beads and wire and how long it takes to work. I would also like to know what people prefer to use to seal the patina so that it doesn’t rub off while the jewelry is being worn.

  6. avatar

    Jeannette Adams

    July 19, 2012 at 6:16 am


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      July 19, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Hi Jeanette, as the video said, all you need is ammonia and vinegar (and probably an open window for ventilation!) Let us know how it works for you!

  7. avatar

    Urban Jule

    July 20, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I use the ammonia and salt recipe that Laura mentioned only I use Kosher salt, just because the large grains seem to speed up the process. I also wrap the piece in a paper towel, put the ammonia in a sealable container, put the wrapped piece directly into the ammonia (you don’t need much ammonia), seal the container with a lid and let sit for a couple of days. What I get is a nice blue patina with the added benefit that the creases in the paper towel makes some interesting textured effects on the copper. Often the color on one piece varies from blue green to blue to almost black on the same piece, giving it even further texture and depth

  8. Pingback: How to Antique Wire Jewelry | Jewelry Making Blog | Information | Education | Videos

  9. avatar


    August 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I am wondering how long the process described in the video takes. It doesn’t appear to be an instant coloring.

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    Peggy Powers

    October 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The sawdust idea sounds easy. However, I still want to know what else you do with the vinegar/ammonia mixture? What about finished jewelry? Great video, but needs more info. Please!!!

  11. avatar

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