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Patina on part of a silver disc

I’m trying to put a black patina (using Griffith silver black) around the outer edge of a silver disk that has been cut to resemble a bicycle chain. I have tried using masking tape to keep the patina from running all over the piece. I use a small brush tip, but the patina still runs under the masking tape, and I need to polish it off the piece to create a crisp line (which isn’t so crisp in the picture). I use masking tape on the patinated border to protect it while I polish off the mess that ran onto the rest of the piece. This is a laborious process. Any ideas about how to paint it on more neatly? Or a way to protect the area I don’t want to patinate? I am making earrings that resemble the logo for a cycling club, and I’m beginning to regret this design element. Thanks.

Vinyl shelf paper with adhesive might work. One brand is Con-Tact.

I know folks use it as a resist in etching.


Gorilla Duct Tape would work but it is going to be somewhat difficult to get off when finished.

John Dach

Hi Sherry

There’s a product called Press n Peel Blue Transfer Film. I am not sure if
it will work for you but you might want to check it out to see if it will
do the trick/

Just a shot in the dark, but to prevent the copper etching away on hobby circuit boards, you used to cover the pathways with a permanent marker. It would prevent the acid from etching the copper underneath. You could try making an inverse of the mask you’ve been using (something that would cover area that you are trying to patina) then use a permament marker to color in the inside disk area that you are trying to protect. Remove the mask and put the patina on, then use denatured alcohol to remove the marker. I haven’t tried this myself, but it seems plausible since the marker would prevent the surface from oxidizing in the same way it protected copper from acid etching.

Just a thought.


Why not just paint the area you want to protect with fingernail polish. Put the liver of sulfur on for your patina and then remove the finger nail polish with acetone. That is what we do if we want to only rhodium plate part of a piece.

Thanks so much for all of your suggestions. I’m going to try the nail polish and the marker and let you know how they work.

Fingernail polish works perfectly. It’s fast, easy and precise. It saves a lot of time, and I get great results. The permanent marker worked somewhat, but not nearly as well as fingernail polish. So glad I asked for advice. Thanks!


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Used by watercolorists, there’s a product called frisket, used as a masque, some are rubberized and peel off after use- just as an example, and by no means advertising any store here are a few listed by one art supplier-

Fingernail polish is also a great favorite of platers. If you’re plating jewellery in two colors or plating part of a piece of jewellery but don’t want the other part plated, use nail polish. Also nail polish remover is mostly aceton, and it’s easier to pop down to the 100 yen shop to get a bottle of it than fighting with a chemical supplier who is insistent you buy a minimum of 10 liters of the stuff.