Keum Boo & Black

I’ve experimented a bit with Keum Boo but I can’t achieve the finish I really want, which is a very dark patina on the silver with a BRIGHT gold pop. I’ve tried applying the gold first, then the patina to the whole piece…the gold dulls and never really gets its shine back. Am I doing it the wrong way? Should I apply patina sparingly with a paintbrush only where I want it? I’ve seen so many beautiful black pieces with the bright gold pop and wonder how the artist gets that finish.

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HI LauraLee

What’re you using for patina? That may have something to do with it. If you use liver of sulphur, or something that just doesn’t effect gold, you should be good.
I did some pieces a while ago that were Kum-Boo on cast silver that looked like slate. So the silver was black enough that it really did look like slate, and the gold stood out clearly.
As I recall, I used Rio’s black max to do the silver. Applied with a brush, carefully, so I didn’t get the gold, because black max will do gold. I remember getting some on the gold, and cleaning it up with a toothbrush full of pumice powder, and a little bit of tape to mask off the edge of the silver.

The other trick is the gold foil. I roll my own, so mine’s much thicker than the commercial foil. (2-3x thicker than the normal foil. About .0008-.001" thick.) The thicker it is, the less the silver underneath shows through, which makes it pop more.


Hey Brian thanks for responding! I use Jax Blackener. I didn’t think of that part of the equation! So LoS won’t affect gold, eh? I’ll have to try that. I use the commercial foil…can I “double layer” it so it’s thicker?

Hi Brian and Laura,
I am just a beginner, but I did do a few inlay pieces using copper, brass,
bronze, silver, shakudo and shibuichi metals with Baldwin’s Patina. The
copper, shacked and shibuichi made the design stand out. My teacher, Suzan
Rezac is the inlay Queen and she used gold. Check out her work at I hope this is ok to give this website.

Good Luck

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Hi, I was introduced to an awesome patina by Patricia Tschetter at an FSG Wildacres retreat. She used Gosiba (from Germany thru Allcraft). You have to clean the piece like crazy and put it in the patina for only 10 seconds than clean it again. Gorgeous dark slate color.
Also, Judith Neugebower (spelling?) uses gold leaf over patina-ed silver.

Esta Jo Schifter

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thank you!!

WOW! Her work is phenomenal!!!

I was a very lucky person to have her as a teacher at the junior college in
our area. I hated it when she stopped teaching. I learned a lot from her.
She is so modest, that I did not know about her work til halfway through
the first class I took.