Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Patina gel liver of sulfur


#1

Hi. I used liver of sulfur to oxidize two silver lockets I bought at
a flea market yesterday. They’re supposed to be sterling silver and
they were much too new/shiny for my taste, which is why I oxidized
them. However, I am not happy with the colors they turned out. Are my
only choices to leave the lockets this color or use silver polish to
make them shiny silver again? One isn’t too bad, just a bit too red,
but the other is really reddish. Is there anything I can do about
this? I just wanted to age them somewhat (I wanted them to turn a bit
gray).

Any help appreciated.

Here are the lockets post-liver-of-sulfur-ized:

Is it a quantitative issue? That is, should I use silver polish and
then oxidize them again for a tiny amount of time?

Thank you!
Liz


#2

Did you warm up the lockets in hot water before putting them in the
LOS? LOS works best when the solution is warm as are the items being
oxidized. I would say try warming them up and LOS them again. If
they are truly sterling, you should get an even matte dark grey.

Laney


#3
One isn't too bad, just a bit too red, but the other is really
reddish. Is there anything I can do about this? I just wanted to
age them somewhat (I wanted them to turn a bit gray). 

Liver of sulphur doesn’t color silver to first a light grey then
darker and darker, etc. As with many instances where an oxide or
chemical layer is built up gradually, the colors go through the
spectrum first (think of the anodized colors in titanium, which of
course are much brighter). Your problem is not enough action of the
liver of sulphur. You’ve only just barely started to react with the
silver. Remember that the gel isn’t intended to work cold, right out
of the bottle. Mix a little bit with HOT water, to get a nice dark
solution. Then dip the lockets until they turn black. Burnish with a
soft brass brush, and repeat.

You’ll end up with a uniform “gunmetal” blue/black color that will
look much nicer for you, I think. THEN take a polishing cloth or a
buff, etc, and buff the high spots. The more you do that, the lighter
that grey will become, including in the recesses, to the extent you
can reach them. It’s possible to take it back to mostly silver with
just a little bit of antiquing in the recesses, but the key to a good
look is to get it actually fully darkened first. You can, of course,
just lighten what you’ve got now. But the recesses won’t be grey,
they’ll have that reddish tint they now have.

Peter