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Using Lime-sulphur

I obtained the Lime-sulphur at my local garden center and I
tried using it as I would use a dilute solution of Potassium
Sulphide (Liver) but I did not get the expected results. A sample
piece of Cu turned a good jet black, but the silver sample did
not color well. I’d appreciate a response from anyone who uses
this in place of liver and is getting the desired results.
Incidentally, whenever I want to get a good contrast on a piece
that I have used the Keum Boo technic of embellishment I color
the silver using household Chlorox. The gold stays brighter than
when liver is used to get a good contrast. JZD

Tell me more. What temperature? What dilutuin? How fresh?


Brian: Thanks for a reply. I used the solutions at room
temp.,but I warmed the metal under a stream of running
water,alternating between dipping and warming. I’ve used this
technic with liver very successfully thereby controlling the
development of color.

I tried two concentrations: 1. a 50/50 and 2. a very, very pale
yellow (as with liver)-conc.unknown. The material was fresh, just
out of the bottle

Since no specific directions were given in the original post, I
used the procedure I’ve been successful with using the liver of
sulfur. I’d appreciate your input on this.


Dear Dr Dule :wink:

Dilution. The bottles of lime suphur we get from garden shops
here may be a different strength from the stuff you are able to
get, so you’ll need to (as you’ve done) play around with the
dilution. Yours may need no dilution! I use a ‘splosh’ of lime
suphur to a <holds fingers 2" apart> about 1/2 cup hot water.
I’ve never had to be more specific than this myself, but if you
want me to work it out, I will.

Temperature. The lime suphur solution is to be hot, but not near
boiling. The technique of room temperature solution and ‘warming
the metal under a stream of running water’ will have had little
effect on warming the solution to, say, 160F. Your 50/50
dilution should’ve worked. Must’ve been too cold.

Rinse. Like you, I use a rinse to ‘stop’ the action while I
check the colouring process. Have it at the same temperature as
the solution. Hot, but not boiling.

Try that out, and if required I’ll look at what dilutions the
garden people recommend for the treatment of fungus and lichen
and we’ll compare that to what’s on your bottle, so establishing
a solution-strength comparison.

B r i a n =A0 A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r =A0
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND Recent Work

G’day, apart from having the lime-sulphur (calcium polysulphide)
too dilute, and not warm enough, a third potential for failure
is if the work piece is not scrupulously clean. A gentle but
thorough toothbrush-scrub in hand-hot water containing washing up
detergent, followed by a good rinse under the tap should remove
all grease and oils.

       / \
     /  /
   /  /                                
 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2

At sunny Nelson NZ where parks and gardens are breath-taking and where
one needs no euphoric drugs at this time of the year; just a stroll through
the park and you are intoxicated.