Getting Verdigris on Copper

Hello all,

What is the fastest way to get verdigris patina on copper? I have
read about urine, ammonia, vinegar, etc. If any of you have a quick
method that is non-toxic, please share.


Can’t speak to making a vertigris patina on copper but I have made
vertigris for adding to glue on Tudor period arrows.

I just let some small pieces of copper pipe (household plumbing
pipe) sit in plain white vinegar until the solution stopped smelling
of vinegar and had turned a dark blue-green colour. If you were to
put some vinegar into a pump-spray bottle and spray it on the piece
and repeat until you had the effect you wanted.

I have also heard of “aging” copper roofs with a similar setup but
with dilute hydrochloric (HCl) acid instead of the vinegar.

You should be able to get the HCl from paint supply (preparing
concrete for painting) or plumbing stores (may be called Muriatic

The HCl isn’t dangerous as long as you treat it with care and
remember add acid to water when diluting. Do it in a well ventilated
area as chlorine gas is a possible byproduct of the reaction.


PS it is thought that the vertigris was used as a fungicide/pesticide
to protect the hide glue from being eaten by microbes/other pests
while in storage or during transport.

Tri-Sodium Sulfide works well as an aging patina and is fairly
benign. But always use rubber gloves and eye protection. Actually
whats neat is that if your quick you can get lovely blue and green
patinas with also, but you have to clear coat it or it will continue
to age left to the air.



Look in Orchid entire archives for “green copper patina”…72
articles. Google “industrial metal supply patinas”. A great source!

Kay Taylor


First make sure that your copper is clean, then wet it with water,
sprinkle table salt on the surface and place it in a closed container
next to a saucer of ammonia. The interaction of the ammonia fumes and
the salt will create a verdigris patina on the copper.

Joel Schwalb

Here are a couple of web sites. Art supply web sites have most low to
non toxic stuff You will vbe surprized at the stuff for
finishing and coating they have here They have a number of good videos by Ron
Young for rent on the web. For both cold and hot patina’s. Your local hobby shops have a mild solutions
for changing brass and copper to black, brown and green.

Or by web

The ammonia and vinegar mixture will give a blue green. If you mix it
with soft wood sawdust and place the item in it (bury it in the
sawdust) for a couple days up to a week you can check on it and get
the degree of coloring you want. Just remember that with cold
patina’s you have to coat it with clear coat of varnish before you
wax it or you will take the patinia of in the waxing(polishing).

been there, cold patiniaed it twice!