For some jewelry designs, a shiny metal surface isn't quite
right. Instead, a dulled surface with a slight patina and
lustre is desirable -- especially if your goal is an antiqued or
There are two ways to achieve this look.
The first way is called "oxidation". You can use
chemicals to chemically color the
metal. Some are called OXIDIZERS and some are called PATINAS. Some
oxidizers work on silver, others on copper, others on bronze, still
oxidizers will turn the metal a grayish-black. Others can turn
the metal into blue, gold, purple or rainbow. The effect is
The durability is not. Often oxidized pieces lose their
color when the pieces are worn. Sweat and air pollutants
dissolve the color. Also, many silver cleaners dissolve the
colorations. The most often used oxiders to turn the silver black
are Liver of Sulpher and
The second way is to use an antiquing varnish. Also,
check our Findings Alcove
to see what we have available. Some hardware
stores have what's called "antiquing varnish" in their paint and
stain areas. Basically, you apply a coat of varnish, and wipe
the piece down. Let the remaining coat dry. If it is not
dark enough, apply another coat of varnish, and wipe the piece down.
Keep repeating these steps until you've achieved the desired
coloration. This approach is very time-consuming, but leaves a
durable finish that will withstand sweat, air pollution, silver
cleaners and the passage of time.
To get different colors (besides gray, black and blacker) with
the varnish, use oil-based paints. First coat the piece with
varnish. Then coat the piece with the oil-based paint.
Then wipe the piece down. Let dry, and so