Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Keeping Exterior Copper Shiny

Gayle Brooks

Recommended Posts

Getting ready to do a sign and the budget is pretty tight. This sign will have two plates with numbers water jet out of them. In between the two pieces will be a piece of copper. They would like to keep the copper in its "bright and shiny" state.

Are there any applications that you know of, used and/or recommend that would help achieve this? Im gettin lost in the products when I search for it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silicon Bronzes are said to stay in that shiny state pretty well permanently - no coating required.

Unfortunately, that isn't true.

You'll need to find something to isolate SB or copper from the elements. They both will take on a naturally dark patina very quickly (within 24 hours) as it reacts to it's environment.

In the studio where I work we use laquer with good results to stabilize a patina but because there's an ongoing chemical process involved, it's ever changing even under the laquer.

That being said, we expect and plan on this ongoing change so we've never searched out a product that will completely stop a patina from forming. There may be something that will work - hopefully someone here will be able to point you in the right direction - if you do find something, please post the name of it!

Good luck!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this isn't what you want to hear or work with but plastic laminate may be your best bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry! What I meant to recommend is aluminum bronzes... for some reason silicon bronze stuck in my head and came out in my post. The aluminum bronzes are the ones with higher resistance to darkening. I have seen them several years old in nearly new looking condition. Still not a bad idea to use a clear coat too though... a double safe approach. Nothing is 100 percent but even for jewelry items that are not weathered but are worn and handled lots the aluminum bronzes hold their shiny looks well. I think it was Heiki Seppa who first told me about them... sadly gone from among us now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies and ideas!

After researching more about the alternatives, seems like there is no substitute for the real thing. I am going to try the Permalac Lacquer. To give myself an out for that call years down the road Im going to design the sign so you can unbolt it and actually remove the piece of copper to clean and repaint. Ill post some pics when its done.

Thanks again! I think this topic will help down the road in that I learned about some new alternatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...