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I Forge Iron

Cleaning oil from copper


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I have a copper shingle wall that is starting to show fingerprints. It has a brown to black patina on it. I did not do the original work so I do not know what was used for the patina. I am guessing the answer is no but does any one know of a way to clean the oil/finger prints off without striping the patina?

And what one could use to get a similar finish in case I do have to strip and re-patina?


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Depends, if they were sealed with a clear finish, then maybe.


If not, well, how long have they sat there? Human sweat is generally mildly acidic - note how some people can't wear pearls without damaging their luster. Is there a less exposed part of the wall you can experiment on?


I'm not very familiar with some of the copper patinas, but I think liver of sulfur and ferric nitrate are supposed to give a nice brown patina. (I've only much played with greens and blues)

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Looks like simple age patination to me, like an old penny. Johnsons will work if you keep with it, say wax every few months, just follow the instruction on the can.


Trying to remove the fingerprints and match the existing patina is serious restoration work. If you really want to remove the prints take Brasso to the whole wall and patina it with one of many possibilities. Do you want to remove the patina from the entire wall just to clean up a couple spots?


Frosty The Lucky.

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Try getting in touch with Sculp Nuveau as they would know what to use for a cleaner.  They make patinas.  This might be trickier than you think.  If they clear coated it that would present a problem.  If it is straight copper you could just clean it with a degreaser.  If it's patina'd, you should be very careful with what cleaner you use.  Good luck and let us know what you used and how it came out.  

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