How to Darken Copper


tarnished copper
tarnished copper earrings wk2
darken copper
aged copper

Want to darken and age your copper project? You’ll need some liver of sulphur (also called Sulfurated Potash). It smells really bad and should only be used in a well ventilated area. It comes in several forms. Most people buy the rock form, but I found something I like better.

The other day I wanted to darken some copper bails that I had made. I opened my liver of sulphur (chunky rock form) and it had gone bad. (You can tell it’s gone bad because it doesn’t smell stinky anymore.) So on my quest to get some more I came across a gel formula. It’s great and here’s how I use it.

You’ll need the liver of sulphur, small amount baking soda, small amount of water(several drops), copper and I used a Q-tip.

supplies for darkening copper
supplies for darkening copper

Gather your supplies. You can warm your copper piece by running it under warm water or heat it with a heat gun. (you may want to use pliers to hold it as it will get hot.)

Dip your q-tip lightly into the liver of sulphur gel, picking up just a tiny bit. Rub it onto the copper. You will see it change very quickly, especially if the copper is warm.

liver of sulphur gel
liver of sulphur gel

Once it changes like you want it, rinse the piece with water and baking soda. This neutralizes the liver of sulphur and makes it stop changing the color.

baking soda
baking soda & water mixture

Try it, it’s fun!

disclaimer: read the instructions on your particular gel. If your metal is warm is turns faster (black immediately). If you want blues/greens, dilute a small amount of gel with warm water dunk the piece fast a second or two. Remove from the gel mixture, rinse with water, if you like the color rinse with baking soda. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this weeks earring challenge. Join us at 52 pairs of earrings and share your unique earring projects.

Valentine’s day is coming…would you like a custom heart, I’ve listed some new ones in my etsy shop (I’m offering free shipping on etsy) order now to get in time for Valentine’s day! did i mention free shipping??

Have a great day!


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