Why You Should Patina Your Copper Decor

Copper Lamp

Adding a touch of copper to your décor provides a unique vintage look that will bring your interior design to a new level. But if you’re looking for an even more authentic vintage look, you should patina your copper decor. Patina is the natural protective layer that forms on copper over time, and it can add character and depth to your decor. So if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind look, be sure to patina your copper pieces!

What is a Patina? Copper’s Natural Protection From Old Age

Don’t know what a patina is? Think again; chances are you’ve seen it frequently but didn’t know it.

Imagine an old penny, fixtures in a vintage house, and the Statue of Liberty. What do these things all have in common? They’re all copper materials with a patina coating.

A patina is a thin layer of oxide that forms on the surface of copper when it is exposed to oxygen. This can happen naturally or be induced by chemicals or heat. Patinas can be green, blue, brown, or black, and they can range in thickness from a few microns to several millimeters.

This natural phenomenon is one of the most popular design trends and can be applied to the copper decor in your own home to create a one-of-a-kind aesthetic.

Why Would You Intentionally Age Your Copper?

While some people might see a patina as a sign of aging, there are many upsides to copper patina.

It creates a unique look that can’t be replicated with other materials. If you’re going for a rustic or antique feel in your home, adding some copper decor with a patina finish bolsters the vintage-chic aesthetic.

Copper decorations with a patina are also easy to care for. The metal naturally develops a patina coating to protect itself from the elements. Anyone who owns copper fixtures in their kitchen knows how much work it can be to fight off patina. Why not embrace it instead?

If you’re unsure about fully committing to the patina look, don’t worry. The process is almost entirely reversible, although it might take a little bit of elbow grease. If the patina overdevelops, you can use steel wool and copper clear to polish it back to your preferred look.

Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

Use These DIY Methods to Patina Your Copper at Home

Now that you know all about the benefits of copper patina, you might be wondering how you can create this effect in your own home.

Fortunately, you can use a few different methods to create a patina on your copper decor. Although copper develops a patina on its own, try some of the methods below to expedite the process.

One popular method is to use vinegar and sawdust.

To do this, fill a container with a healthy amount of sawdust. Be sure that the container is large enough to fit your desired copper piece. Next, add a substantial amount of white vinegar, bury your copper in the moistened sawdust, seal your container, and let it sit overnight.

Remove your copper the next day, let it air dry, then gently brush away the sawdust.

Vinegar is excellent for achieving a green patina, but you’ll need to take a different approach if you want another color.

As surprising as it may sound, hardboiled eggs can naturally spark a dark, rich patina on your copper wares. Simply enclose the copper piece in a resealable container with four or more hardboiled egg halves. The sulfur from the egg yolk catalyzes patina development when exposed to copper in a closed space. The longer you let your copper sit in the sulfurous environment, the darker your patina will be.

If you want a beautiful, bright blue patina on your item, you can try exposing your copper to a 50-50 blend of ammonia and saltwater. To begin, fill a small bowl halfway with ammonia solution. Then, lay a cheesecloth over the bowl and place your copper onto it, so it sinks into the ammonia. Finally, pour your saltwater over in the bowl, cover it, and wait several hours to create a beautiful blue patina.

Once you have a perfect look, be sure to preserve and protect your patina

Achieve Vintage Perfection With Patina Copper

Whether you decide to let copper age naturally or use one of the outlined methods, patinas are a great way to give your copper decor some added personality and protection. Copper is a popular design trend used even by celebrities—just take a look at Bjork’s house. With a little bit of time and effort, you can create a patina that is unique to your home and helps keep your copper looking beautiful for years to come. So don’t be afraid to experiment – who knows, you might just stumble on the perfect patina recipe!


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