Protecting Patinas without altering color/sheen

Hi there! I have been reading through the forum
and other resources without finding a protective coating for iridescent
patinas on silver that doesn’t dull it or totally change the color. So
far I have tried Protectaclear (lacquer type coating) by Everbrite and
Renaissance Wax with unsatisfactory results. Does anyone found
something that works well for this?

I make a spiral earring and curved earrings that have the patina on
the inside, I have sold them coated and uncoated, with the warning of
storing them (the uncoated ones) so they can’t scratch in airtight ziploc
bags. Does anyone have the experience to know how stable these patinas
are if they are uncoated? Thanks again for sharing, love the forum,

Can’t tell you how stable your patina is unless you tell us how/what you applied to achieve it. That said, if it’s so fragile that Protectaclear harms it, there’s little hope.

Hi, sure the patina is liver sulphur, ammonia and salt on silver. I burr out the interior of the earring with a diamond burr and the exterior is hammer or roll printed texture. The patina applied to hot metal with a warm solution then put in an ice bath. It is repeated until desired color is achieved. It gets the bright blues, magenata, browns, copper and gold. I let the color develop over time. I remover the patina from the exterior and leave the interior. I have had some earrings in my studio for a year that have not been coated and the color seems good…they have not been worn. I wondered about the longevity the unprotedted patina. I have been wanting to preserve the patina on the exterior on some designs, the protectaclear works to protect, but the color is dull, darker and the sheen is not iridescent anymore. The exterior texture has raised areas that are smooth, which without protection rubs off.

I’ve found for patinas , a spray coating works better to leave it unchanged ( or at least as little as possible).

I’ve used Sculpt Nouveau’s , Clear Guard , but I also wax on top of it ( after it’s good and dry) ,with the wax they sell.

The wax adds another layer of protection - but it also adds an extra sheen I like.


Thanks Patty, was thinking of trying the EF formula of clear guard. Is this the one you use. Do you use the Satin finish or Matte?

I use the regular formula in Satin.
Good Luck,

Maybe I should do the regular, as the other one might not work the same way…thanks again!

Have you thought about powder coating. It is used extensively in the automotive industry. It is not expensive to set up or difficult to do. If you want to test it you can send me a piece and I will powder clear coat it for you. It works best on items without stones as it will coat them as well. I do some pieces and set the stone afterwards.

These bracelets have a clear powder coat on them.

Hi again John! Thank you for the offer to test it for me, very kind! Those that looks great, is that sterlium or continuum? Is the lettering on you bracelets a patina? I have not heard of that method… how do you do it and what is needed? I am hopeful to find a treatment that I don’t need to wear a respirator and not too finicky. Even though I was trying to stay away from Lacquer, I ordered the spray one Patty suggested to try as I have a bunch of pieces finished and need to get out this soon.

That is continum. The lettering is hand engraved through the powder coating and then gold plated. You need a powder coat gun and air compressor and a toaster oven. Probably about $300 to set up to do it.

I missed this yesterday , sorry.
Sometimes the EF formulas change it enough that it acts differently , ie: longer to dry, etc.

I’ve always used the regular with good results.
Just try to not spray when it’s 100 % humidity outside - if it’s too humid the clear coat can blush ( turn milky- bad ) . I’m in NW Florida , so something I have to be aware of .


Hello Wadedesigns,
I want to try powder coating Sterling. According to the cure schedule on the powder packet, the item needs 10 minutes at 400F. Now, my question: do you have input about how critical the temperature is? I’ve checked my toaster/convection oven and it maxes out at 375F. (Apparently, one cannot trust the dial!) I do have a precious metal kiln with electronic controls, but have not checked its accuracy. Perhaps that would be a better way to go.

There were two articles in the Jan. '16 issue of Art Jewelry Magazine about powder coating. The article by Sam Mitchell noted a range of temperature of 300-400F.

If you are familiar with the articles, do you have additional comments about methods and tips?

I have been using Nikolas clear lacquer to coat copper items, and it works well, but is subject to clouding if humidity is high during application. Not to mention that any hard coating like lacquer will chip and crack if the metal is bent or ‘beat’, so I only use it on small pieces like pendants and beads.

BTW, your engraved bracelets are very cool. Thanks for sharing.
Judy in Kansas, who is harvesting a bucket of tomatoes every other day.

There are a lot of youtube videos on powder coating. Check out the work being done on coin rings without compressors or sprayers. From what I have seen the toaster ovens work well for curing and in jewelry sizes it cures very fast!


I don’t want to cast aspersions on anyone’s creative process or product, but I will state a preference and contrarian view. All these coatings and patinas are soft and will wear with time. The whole attraction of jewelry for me is its nobility and timelessness. That’s why we frown on plating in fine jewelry and use hard stones in preference to fluorite and rhodonite, etc. Why platinum is preferred even over 18kt white gold. So I’m more interested in limiting my techniques to those which are more permanent. An oxidized patina on silver just mimics what nature will eventually do. A matte finish mimics years of wear. But lacquer and even powder coating are going to wear off on jewelry that is worn. I’d prefer to work in other ways.

Hi Nicolina . . . I use Permalac on everything, sterling silver and mild steel. It goes on microfine, doesn’t change color, isn’t thick, wears beautifully, and is non-toxic to the wearer unlike Renaissance wax which is absorbed through the skin. I buy it in a rattle can, it can also be purchased in larger quantities for spray gun use. Here’s the link:

I love this stuff!!


Hi Valerie, thanks for the suggestion, will do some reading. Have you tried it over Liver of Sulphur blues and magentas on silver?

Thanks for the info, I am going to do some reading on it.

Hi again Patty, one more question for you. Have you tried these coatings on LOS blue and iridescent patinas on silver? One friend of mine suggested that he didn’t think a wax or satin finish would work well on them and would change the color …

In my experience everything changes patina even a little .

I work primarily in copper - and have found that the spray might darken patinas such as LOS, green & blue patinas from Sculpt Nouveau - but not a lot.

In my opinion you have to seal the patina - it gives a layer of wear before the patina, so I think is necessary.
Which is why, as I said I use the wax on top of the spray too, among other reasons.

I believe Permalac , that someone else mentioned, is very similar to the Clear Guard from Sculpt Nouveau.
Sculpt Nouveau used to sell Permalac , but a couple of years ago now , they developed there own formula (Clear Guard) to replace it. I’ve used both with similar results.


You need to have a good oven thermometer in your oven. I had to experiment with cure times and temperature to get the bet results. For the clear coat from Eastman I found that setting it to just over 300 degrees and hanging the item in the oven till you get a flow out of the material and then setting a timer for 15 minutes gave me the best results.