brass mod patina process?

Discussion in 'Cosmetic Mods' started by just_be, Mar 2, 2014.

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  1. just_be

    just_be Full Member Verified Member

    I apologize if this has already been covered in another thread, but if it has, I can't seem to find it. I recently ordered my first brass mod (hcigar caravela) and I would like to try to achieve a forced patina look on at least one of the three included battery tubes. I stumbled across this picture of an absolutely gorgeous nemesis, but none of the videos or articles I've found seem to create this look.

    can anybody help me out as far as either giving me a step-by-step process, or a link to a video or article? any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
  2. asdaq

    asdaq Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    That there in the photo is something else, for which I have no idea. If you want to apply patina quickly you can put the parts in a closed box with a small dish of ammonia for a few days. The fumes will oxidize the brass.

    If you want some bright greens, another approach is to soak the parts in a thick solution of handsoap and water. One day ought to do it and another day of drying on the brass before rinsing the soap off.

    Good luck and be sure to post pics of the results. :)
  3. just_be

    just_be Full Member Verified Member

    it seems like this look involves ammonia and sea salt, is anybody familiar with this method?
  4. rurwin

    rurwin Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Google is your friend. This was the first link for google "brass amonia salt"

    Easy Patina Finishes for Copper and Brass – a Tutorial ? Jewelry Making Journal
    Caution: wear gloves, eye protection and a great deal of ventilation.

    Another caution: you are corroding the metal; leave it too long and there will be no metal left. I wouldn't try this first time on a $200 mod.

    I know nothing about this process. Good luck.
  5. James Hart

    James Hart Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I use 4 parts Ammonia and 3 parts White Vinegar with a couple tbs of no iodine salt... sand the pieces, wash with dish soap, soak in mixture, cake more salt on it, then place it on something to raise it above the solution in a sealed container.

    I did that twice for about 6-7 hours each day... on the 3rd day coated it with minwax finishing wax to turn this...

    into this...

    I like to do it over 2 days with a very light sanding before the second day to give it more depth.
  6. Joka

    Joka Super Member ECF Veteran

    This Is amazing. I've been wanting to make a steampunk looking mod. I have a full brass nemesis on the way I plan to use your method to patina this thing Almost like you have done. So do you advise one long soak in this mixture or multiple short periods of time like a few hours?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  7. James Hart

    James Hart Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks... the soak is only to wet the pieces. It is the fumes that do the actual work. I think multiple stages gives it more depth. If you are on Facebook there is a new group called 'Patina Mods'... lots of people have posted their process.

    Here is my complete process as documented on the FB group:
    1.) Sand brass mod with extra fine 3M sanding sponge
    2.) Wash with dish soap
    3.) Mix 4 parts Ammonia, 3 parts White Vinegar, 1 part no iodine salt
    4.) soak pieces in solution for a moment to wet them
    5.) roll in salt poured on a paper towel so it is thick enough to not see the metal
    6.) Hang over remaining solution in sealed container for 6 to 8 hours
    7.) Rinse & wash with dish soap, leave to dry over night
    8.) repeat steps 2 thru 7 (but double the salt in the mix and skip step 5)
    9.) Coat with Minwax Finishing Wax following directions on label

    I didn't bother coating the threads or inside... still hits great. I did sand the patina (mostly) off the insides of the RDA caps.
    (the top cap on the Touchwood was done the same way but 3 sessions and no Vinegar)

    Original Post
  8. Joka

    Joka Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oh my those are all so beautiful! I'm either going to get the brass king my local b&m has, or order a brass nemesis to do this with. Maybe cap em off with a brass omega rda. I can't wait, you have enlightened me and gave me a project to do.

    So I have a few questions james, does the patina wear off with daily use? Is there any smell like an old penny or anything? Will it turn my hand green? I read your supposed to coat it with an oil or wax afterwards, why is this? Sorry for all the rambling, I am just VERY excited about this. I've always admired the steampunk look of mods I would see. Never thought I could afford one already made, and really didn't think I could do it myself.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  9. rurwin

    rurwin Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I've never seen the point of making steampunk stuff look old. Surely there are servants available to polish it every day so it gleams like gold? Patina is just corrosion, and brass corrodes fast; just touching it will leave dull finger prints on it. The green stuff is exactly the green marks you get from cheap jewelry. The only way to keep brass bright (without servants) or keep the patina constant is to protect it with an air- and water-proof coating.
  10. Joka

    Joka Super Member ECF Veteran

    So what method would be the best for a dark patina, I really do not want blue or turquoise. If it was neon lime green that's ok with me, but I'm wanting something old dark and used looking, With depth.

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  11. rtm355

    rtm355 Full Member

    you can buy stuff that can cause a reaction at a hobby store my mother does it all the time. then you can use a matte or high gloss clear high temp ceramic paint. make sure you tape up everything . also use a prep rag or alcohol pad wipe to get any oils or gunk off it first.
  12. James Hart

    James Hart Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Since I seal with wax, the blue fades with time... no discoloring of skin or bad penny smell. My Touchwood with polished brass gives me that smell after a week or so as the natural patina starts. Hitting the patina with a hard clear coat finish should help it retain the bright colors.

    Straight up Vinegar & salt makes for a brown / olive color... takes a lot more hours though. Maybe 36 or so.
  13. Joka

    Joka Super Member ECF Veteran

    This is also neat looking, he said it was a patina. It looks torched, how would you achieve this patina? o_O

    With a wax coat or others are they needed to be reapplied weekly, daily?

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  14. rtm355

    rtm355 Full Member

    like said in the last two post above use a ceramic clear coat it sprays out a little bit thicker coat and if something decided to get too hot the ceramic can handle the heat and you don't have to wax .
  15. James Hart

    James Hart Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Weekly and the color does change in time... I had wanted to use a wax to seal it so it was easily redone. I'm thinking not that I've got a better handle on the process and results, I will looking into the ceramic clear coat.

    I was gonna try Lacquer, but that sounds interesting... I'll have to research it. What brand are you using?
  16. Joka

    Joka Super Member ECF Veteran

    I don't want my mech to be oily feeling all the time either, so wax or the ceramic coating would be best. I could easily run it without a coating tho right?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  17. rtm355

    rtm355 Full Member

    Go to any automotive shop its used on engines and headers HVT makes some and a few other companys
  18. gruntybob

    gruntybob Full Member Verified Member

    Definitely looking into doing this. Gotta buy a cheap brass mod now :laugh:
  19. mitchg

    mitchg Full Member

    Me too! What seems to be the general consensus for a good quality low cost clone?
  20. James Hart

    James Hart Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mine is the same one kidney punched sells for $35. I snagged mine a little cheaper from eBay.

    Sent from my LG-LS980 using Tapatalk
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