If you are having a problem with liver of sulfur degrading
because of a humid environment, you might consider trying
ammonium sulfide instead, which is a liquid and has a similar
It is extremely concentrated. I transfer about 2 oz of this to
a light tight chemical bottle, storing the orginal bottle in a
cardboard box, away from heat and light. Then I take a second 4
oz chemical bottle and mix a 25% solution. This becomes the
solution I draw from when I want to mix up a batch to color
metal. About 1/2 tsp of the 25% solution in 2 oz water is a
pretty good working concentration.
I’ve had my original bottle of ammonium sulfide for over 10
years. I only need to refill my little 4 oz bottle about every
year or so. The 25% solution doesn’t seem to have enough water in
it to provide enough oxygen to deteriorate the ammonium sulfide,
and that solution will last me indefinitely, until I use it up.
If you dilute it more, the solution won’t keep as long.
You can get ammonium sulfide and brown light tight chemical
bottles from Bryant Laboratory in Berkeley, California. (They
have a website, but I don’t have the URL.) It is fairly pricey,
but a bottle will probably last a lifetime if you store it away
from light and don’t open it too often.
Ammonium sulfide gives an especially warm rich color to copper,
bronze, and red brass, and is a common base patina used by bronze