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Browning Copper with Ferric Nitrate
Article © MAIL User: Drax

Ferric Nitrate Browning Solution

Target metals: Copper, Brass, Bronze
Target colors: Brown

This solution will turn copper alloys into a dark brown color, basically the color of old copper pennies. This recipe comes from The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight.

To make the solution, mix:

1Tb Ferric nitrate
1qt Water

Method of use: Dissolve the ferric nitrate in the water, solution is sort of an orange-brown color. Spray onto the copper item you want to turn brown!

The spray needs many applications to get a good coating (around 10 or so). The copper and brass turned a very dark brown, the bronze turned a lighter, more uneven brown. The brown patina itself is pretty stable, but seemed a little more flakey on the bronze. But it is actually quite plier resistent. Results still may be best after all plier work is done, though.

The picture shows a brass ring on the left, a bronze ring on the right, and their browned equivalents below.

Image: dab_ferric.jpg

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