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Using dried tobacco leaves to patina

Hi All,

I remember reading a few years ago about using dried tobacco leaves
with some sort of liquid, maybe ammonia, to make a patina in copper
or silver.

I thought at the time I had saved it but after a change of laptops
it’s gone.

Just found fresh leaves today at an organic farm so am ready to try
it when they are dry.

Anyone know how to use them? On silver? On copper?

Greatly appreciate any advice you smart people can give me.

Sharron in sunny Mexico

vinegar, ammonia and tobacco in a sealed contained produces a
bluey-greeny patina on copper. Don’t have proportions.
Experimentation is Fun!


vinegar, ammonia and tobacco in a sealed contained produces a
bluey-greeny patina on copper. 

What form of tobacco works best?

And, I’m not up on tobacco sourcing, what’s the cheapest form?


For what it is worth, I was taught that any organic material in a
sealable closed container mixed with household ammonia will create a
varying degree of turquoise colored patina on copper. Interesting
twist is to toss in salt crystals and see the spots where the salt
contacted the copper changing the patina color or just leaving a
black speckle on the blue ground. Problem with it is it is not a
stable patina. It will flake and wear off with time. You would need
to seal the patina with a coating of some sort to maintain it long

Thanking Shawna Kulpa for the write up.

vinegar, ammonia and tobacco in a sealed contained produces a
bluey-greeny patina on copper. Don't have proportions. 

Does this work on bronze as well?

Linda Kaye-Moses

Per Jinks McGrath’s book “The Jeweler’s Directory of Decorative
Finishes”, to Patina Copper, you can use rolling tobacco or sawdust
(Home Depot gave me a couple of baggies of it for free). Measure one
part vinegar and three parts household ammonia. Pour enough of this
into a sealable plastic container to dampen the sawdust. Cover the
copper with the mixture, seal and leave for a few hours or couple of
days depending on the color you want.

This produces a green/blue effect and you can keep the container and
reuse the mixture. I have a piece of copper “cooking” right now using
a different method of hers. I put a small amount of ammonia in a jar
lid and set it in a plastic container, I sprinkled my copper with sea
salt and vinegar and set those in the container with the ammonia and
sealed it, it’s been 24 hours and it looks a gorgeous blue color.
This book is amazing, she also has recipes for Silver and Brass.

Hope this helps.
Susan Nelson

You’d have to try it yourself to find out. That’s all I remember and
likely all I read.

Barbara on a beautiful froggy singing night on the island

Does this work on bronze as well? 

Don’t see why it wouldn’t, unless there’s something funky with your
bronze alloy. CIA

I got beautiful blue patina with salt and vinegar. But, how to make
it permanent?