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Varnish to protect patinas


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#1 Promethium

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:45 AM

Hi gentlemen, Having just bought some Talens acrylic matt varnish non-yellowing (no Linseed) and tried it on the following with results:

Potassium Polysulphide (LOS substitute I make) for copper = destroyed the metallic blues and turned them into themost beautiful deep red and dark brown, but Obviously this not what I want to happen

NH3 Vapour (Ammonia) on copper acetate coated copper = darkens slightly, but too much that it takes away the brightness factor of my blue.

Another blue tone done as above was just wiped out??

And finally an ammonium chloride and acid combination resulting in a turquoise green was darkened too much.

I was going to buy shellac but it was too expensive to try and then only to find that it too failed to retain original colours and tones would have meant too much money wasted. My patinas are chemical, heated and K2S patinas. Has anyone any suggestions please. I am only working small scale, not dipping 6 meter bronze statues into vats Ho Ho. Thankyou Gentlemen. Since there are so many posts on this matter I naturally had a quick browse through randomly but the ones that I read were specialized so I decided to ask for advice from the experienced.

Kind regards

Chris

#2 Rich Waugh

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

I've found that there are two substances that work fairly well for me.

One is Renaissance Wax. It is a polycrystalline wax that is clear and very hard once dry. Three coats are good for years indoors and months outdoors. Some darkening of thicker light blue patinas, but rather moderate compared to almost everything else.

The other is Permalac, or any other jeweler's quality true lacquer. Again, some darkening of the lighter, thicker oxides, but minimal.

Acrylic, shellac, linseed or alkyd varnishes will inevitably destroy most patinas as they have very high "wetting" qualities that drown the patina.

That's my 2 cents worth.
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#3 AvishaiW

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:02 PM

I am using beeswax because I can not get Renaissance wax which is probably much tougher. I also use Permalac, but only for indoors use. As far as I know, there is no material that will protect patina for many yearsPosted Image

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#4 Promethium

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:00 PM

Hi Rick, ====high "wetting" qualities that drown the patina. ====== is it not possible then to withdraw some of the wetting quality by mixing acrylic say with 50-50 ethanol/methanol?

Hi Avishai, yes I have also heard about beeswax, I actually forgot about it, BUT =======I can not get Renaissance wax which is probably much tougher. ===== Rio Grande in USA have literally just this week started selling Renaissance wax due to popular requests if this helps. They are a very trustworthy company, but I am sure you may know them. just got their update with this info last week.

#5 Rich Waugh

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:25 PM

Nope, cutting the acrylic with a solvent isn't going to change the wetting, except possible to exacerbate it. Thew wetting is an inherent quality of the acrylic ester.
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#6 Tony Mertens

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

For copper and other non - ferrous metals there is also a clear from Nicolas. I know Warren and a few others use it with good results. I've tried it on a few pieces also but they are too recent too make a judgement on the lomg term. Anything you put over the patina will change the color somewhat. The Nicolas (not sure on the spelling) is available direct and also from Mcmaster-Carr. It's not cheap but nothing good is.

#7 crquack

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:39 PM

I have been using the Lee Valley equivalent of Renaissance wax - the Conservator's wax - with a reasonable success. It cost half.

Another thing I discovered by accident: I was finshing my wood/metal greeting cards (a sort of experiment) and sprayed them with this:

http://www.homedepot...-aerosol/980295

Surprisingly it altered the patina look minimally and it adhered to the copper/brass plate rather well.

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#8 Promethium

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:52 AM

Hi rick, Tony and crquack, well there is plenty of research to be getting on with here. Thankyou. Oh and Rick, I googled "Thew wetting" thinking it was some specialist terminology (yep you can laugh now), and when nothing was found at all I realised that it was a typing error... But thanks guys for your tips and experiences, I'll be looking into all this.

Oh forgot to mention, that the colours on the chemical patinas only have returned 100% completely back to the original, all that darkening has dissappeared. This was when I just woke up, so that is about 12 hours ago that I varnished the test pieces.

#9 warrent

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

Varnish is not a good coating. It has no protection against the sun (UV) and has no adhesive additives for copper (copper loves to oxidize). Give it a couple of years and will darken and probably start to crack. Heat patinas will always lose it colors because you are changing the reflextion of light with a clear, on the very thin layer of oxidation. You are correct that after the coating has completely dried the chemical patinas will return to their original colors. I am a big believer in the Nikolas products. I have pieces that have been outside for 15 years and still holding up very well. Oh yeah on your liver of sulphur variation, over time will it darken more,is it stable?

On waxes, they are just a protector and not a sealer. Air and moisture will get in over time and change your patinas.
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#10 Promethium

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:05 PM

Thanks, interesting info that I was not aware of here, thankyou. But I have typed in Nikolas products, varnish and different combinations of words to find this product that everyone is talking about and google comes up empty. Can someone please give me the company either USA or England please. Unusual that I can not find anything on the web.

#11 PTsideshow

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

It is the first pinned topic in this forum, preserving patinas has their web site Posted Image
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All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

#12 Promethium

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

Hallo Gentlemen, Because of the nature of what I am doing I came up with an idea that I would like to put forward. If I put my patinated artwork behind glass, as you would a photograph, and framed and enclosed but allowed a discreet hole inside of which I inserted some silica (or other hydroscopic chemical) that theoretically should keep the patina from being subjected to deterioration. after all it is not air alone that oxidates but water in the air.

#13 Rich Waugh

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:54 PM

When museum want to protect pieces from oxygen (oxygen is the oxidizer), they typically have a sealed cabinet with an initially inert atmosphere and include a small amount of powdered iron. Iron has such an affinity for oxygen that it effectively scavenges any stray molecules of O2 from the cabinet atmosphere.
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#14 Promethium

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:59 AM

Hallo Rick, that's useful. I never knew that. The inert atmosphere I can not create, but I don't think I have to be so festidious, I will start grinding. anything that helps can't be bad.

#15 kinglerch

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 04:44 AM

Rather than start a new topic, I am reusing this years old topic as it seems product availability has changed over the years and links get outdated. I have steel pieces to be used outdoors that I am trying to protect from the elements while also allowing chemical patinas to retain as much of their original look as possible.

 

I have typically used a Rustoleum or Krylon product, but the acetone and wetting (described above) darken the patinas and much of the distinguishing color is lost...though I have had more luck with flatter coatings as opposed to glossy coatings, and lighter coatings rather than thicker coatings. But my guess is that these come at the expense of protection.

 

I understand that no clear coat will protect steel outside forever, and I have taken to recoating things every year, but I would like to do this while having the least effect on the chemical patinas as possible. What is my best bet to do this on steel?



#16 ShawnM

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:20 AM

While this is not a complete answer to your question, I'll just throw this out there for general consumption. Sculpt Nouveau has a new product called ColorLoc which supposedly seals heat patinas while preserving all the colors. Pat Downing has been testing it to good effect on his heat treated copper pieces (and showing the results on his Facebook page). The link to the product is here - note that they recommend a finish sealer over the ColorLoc for outdoor pieces:

 

http://www.sculptnou...=110&category=7


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#17 kinglerch

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 11:24 AM

I ordered some to see how it performs. I would hope there was *some* way to preserve patinas while still offering protection from the elements. But I wouldn't be surprised if the whole reason that clear coats protect is that they flood the rough surface of the patina and change the light reflection/refraction, and I may be chasing my tail trying to find one that doesn't.



#18 ShawnM

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 11:31 AM

Hope you'll let us all know how it works for you - good, bad, or otherwise.


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#19 crquack

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 06:25 PM

I am forever looking for a clear coat for bare steel. I see that the ColorLoc has to be top coated for outdoor use so the question is whether it will make any difference to the appearance instead just using Ever Clear or a similar type of top coat.

 

The local shop has recommended Endura two-component top coat. Due to its cost and shelf-life I have not tried it.

 

POR15 cannot be used as a topcoat because it is UV sensitive. The Glisten PC product made by the same company is OK for bare steel but the company rep told me it does not compare with POR15 in terms of rust protection.

 

An interesting product is Rust Bullet: I have not used it personally but there are many reports on various fora about its benefits. It seems less hassle to use than POR15 and it is UV resistant.



#20 kinglerch

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:51 AM

The manufacturer told me that he recommends Ever-Clear on top of ColorLoc, so based on his reputation I am assuming using ColorLoc first will in fact make a difference in preserving patinas. But I am going to test this out soon on my piece of patinad steel and will report back.






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