Lime Sulphur

Howdy, recently, I went to my local jewelers supply to buy
liver of sulphur. They have been out for some time(and very
expensive), so I looked up the Orchid post on lime sulphur. At
your suggestion, I went to my local nursery, and purchased lime
sulphur. I was so impressed with the outcome(and the price),
that I wanted to inform others.

I purchased: ORTHO–lime sulphur spray (16ounce dark green
bottle) in concentrate. It cost me $7.99, cheaper everywhere
outside of Nevada!

I put about 1/4 cup of water + one small squirt of Ortho. And
heated----ON THE STOVE!!! I had to appologize to my wife all day
for stinking up the house! Now I know why they say to do this
outside. It produced a beautiful blue-black patina on sterling
silver. If you put it in the solution for only a few seconds,
it comes out a beautiful reddish-orange rainbowish sorta color.
It only takes a minute or two in hot(not boiling)solution to
achieve a dark patina.

Thank You to all who suggested this–you were RIGHT!!! Tom

  Most of the links that led to a product page showed products and
described what they were used for but nowhere did they say what
the product contained! Eventually, I found a product, brand name
"Hi-Yield" ( that is a
concentrated lime-sulphur. 

Having read the description of the product fully, the bottom, last
sentence tells us that what we are looking for is Calcium
Polysulfide… hope that helps :slight_smile: Cece

Hi Folks –

Well – another great thing coming out of Orchid!! I was in need of
a patina on a piece (last minute of course) and decided to try the
lime sulphur. Wonderful stuff – the play of color is just great and
it develops slowly compared with Liver of Sulphur. I had no trouble
finding it at my local garden center. (Brand is Bonide – $10 for 16
oz that as a fungicide mixes up to 6 gallons.) What I bought I
wasn’t sure of, because it contains oil – which for gardening
purposes would be useful – but wasn’t sure about for my purposes.
Tried it first on a flat piece of metal – early on, got a mottled
appearance, but using a q-tip, was able to smooth it out. Decided to
go whole hog and try it on my piece which is repousse and does not
have a smooth surface across the entire piece. It was wonderful –
smooth surface or not. I got a lot of colors – gold to rose to
blues to grays all in just a couple of dips. I’m sold. The only
downside thus far is that (if it’s possible) I think it smells far
worse than LoS

Laura Wiesler
StoneHouse Studio

Laura: I’ve only tried my Lime Sulfur once - and I did only a small
tube clasp - but mine turned instantly black when I put it in - more
of a gun metal blue black - very pretty. But there was no
possibility of developing slowly - What strength are you using? Mine
is pure Lime Sulfur - no oil in it at all - and I mixed it 1 tsp to a
cup of hot water. Did I make it too strong? Would like to know how
you used yours - strength and was it really hot:? And yes it is vile
smelling - thank heavens I worked with mine outside.


Actually – I didn’t have a formula – but the amount you used
sounds about right. I just poured a little in a cup and put some hot
water from the tap in it. I also put in some kosher salt, which is
what I do with LoS. Perhaps the oil was the factor which made the
difference?? (or maybe I just got really lucky?!!?!?!)


I’ve read all the postings regarding lime sulphur and noticed that
many want color variations for artistic purposes. If I want only
true black, not blue black, what do I do to insure that I’m
successful and obtain a true black? I too want to get away from LOS
when dipping an entire piece. I use Silver Black when just darkening
small areas. When I use LOS and intend to dip an entire piece, I
heat both the silver and LOS, would I do Lime Sulphur the
same to get true black? Thanks, John Barton

For those of you who might not want to waste your time and money,
after having used Griffith silver\black and liver of sulphur, I
recently tried lime sulphur, Bonide, Lime Sulpur Spray, calcium
polysulphide 30%, and was entirely and completely disappointed with
it. Liver of sulphur is sooooo much easier and faster. Tried lime
sulphur cold, then hot. Did not get the dead black that I get with
LOS. Unless there is some trick I don’t know, and I used it on
silver that had been sparexed and tumble finished, it was
disappointing results. The only thing I could think is that I would
have to leave it for a prolonged length of time, like an hour or two.
Compared with 5 minutes for LOS. Clue me in! Richard Hart

This post about lime sulphur is from 2003.

I wonder if anyone is using this for patina. I read about its
properties and it sounds rather caustic. Curious to know because the
results sound promising.

It’s just lime and sulfur. I use it on my grapes which are prone to
fungus here in the damp northwest. I alternate copper spray with the
lime sulfur on them.

We all have sulfur in our bodies. Lime has been used in agriculture
for generations. We have very acidic soil here and it’s used to
sweeten the soil.

If it’s safe enough to spay on plants you will eat or amend the dirt
where you grow them, I’m sure it won’t kill you unless you drink
gallons of it.

Our friends Jack and Lizzie at Zaffiro use it to oxidize their
silver black Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer


I have used lime sulfur as described. It works. Also useful in your
garden! However I prefer the LoS gel & that is all I use now.

Judy in Kansas, who just finished decorating family graves for Memorial

Lime sulphur is safe to use. I use it on the roses in my gardenwhich
are subject to mildew and black spot here in the damp pacific
Northwest. Sulphur is used in food preparation—molasses, etc… Alma