How To Seal Copper Jewelry?
Jewelry is of course an electroforming artist’s best friend, everyone likes a bit of jewelry!
We as humans have used the power of jewelry to express our wealth since our existence, and up until this day, jewelry is still an important aspect of our lives.
Over the years copper has become an attractive material in the world of jewelry, but how do we prevent it from our dreaded enemy, tarnish?
In this article, we answer the question… How To Seal Copper Jewelry?
How to seal copper jewelry?
We can seal our copper jewelry with a variety of different sealants, we apply those sealants using a dipping technique or a paintbrush.
We seal our copper to prevent corrosion and tarnish from damaging our precious copper jewelry.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sealing and protecting your copper jewelry from tarnish!
We’ll give you all the tips and tricks and after reading you should be a true master in sealing your copper jewelry! So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
Why Do We Want To Seal Copper Jewelry?
As we previously mentioned, sealing our copper jewelry is an important process to protect our jewelry.
Before we can dive into the process itself though, it’s important to know why we do it.
Therefore, let’s look at the question, why do we want to seal our copper jewelry?
As we’ve briefly covered in the introduction, sealing our copper jewelry is done to prevent tarnish, oxidation, and discoloration.
This will make our precious jewelry last longer, and it will also prevent discoloration of our skin when wearing it!
How Does Copper Tarnish?
Before we can dive into our different options to prevent tarnish, we first have to know how copper tarnishes in the first place.
So, to find out let’s take a deeper look at the question, how does copper tarnish?
Tarnish is caused by a process known as oxidation.
When copper is in the presence of oxygen a slow chemical reaction takes place, in this reaction a substance known as copper oxide is formed.
This substance has a darker color than regular copper and is better known as tarnish! This can then develop further into patina which is the dreaded green discoloration.
What To Put On Copper To Keep It From Tarnishing?
Now we are going to get into How To Seal Copper Jewelry?
There’re many different substances that you can use to prevent copper from tarnishing, as long as it creates a barrier between the copper and the outside oxygen it’ll work!
This leads us to many different materials such as different types of wax, or spray coatings. They’re also natural ways such as beeswax.
It’s a matter of preference as all have their own pros and cons! We’ll cover the different products to use in more detail in the next paragraph!
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Ways To Seal Copper Jewelry
As we saw in the last paragraph, there are many different materials and ways to seal our copper jewelry. In this paragraph, we’ll run through a few of these ways and we’ll talk about the products to use for them!
Renaissance Wax Polish
We’ll start with a wax-based solution known as renaissance wax. This product is sold in cans of 200ml and it is applied using a soft cloth to gently rub the wax onto the copper. This wax-based method creates a thin and invisible layer on the copper that seals it from the outside oxygen and therefore prevents oxidation! This is the product I use the most. It can be bought here:
Next up we have a liquid-based sealant by Protectaclear, the substance comes in a 1 Oz, or 30 ml, can. Because it is a liquid it can be applied in many ways, through dipping, painting, or even spraying making it easy to use! Once applied it’s quick to dry and just like the wax-based solution it creates an invisible layer to protect the copper. It can be bought here:
Eternal Jewelry Coating
Third off, we’ve got Eternal jewelry coating. It’s similar to the one discussed before but the application process is slightly more complex as you need to properly clean your piece beforehand. The finish is definitely worth it though. It can be bought in .5 Oz or 15 ml, cans here:
MET-ALL BC-10 Brass & Copper Polish
Next up we’ll look at a MET-ALL sealing solution. It’s sold in 16 oz, or 480 ml, cans and is therefore perfect for those of you looking for a lot of sealants. It applies like paint, dries quickly, and creates a mirror-like finish! It can be found here:
Premier Copper Products Sealant
Last, but definitely not least, we have a Premier Copper Products sealant. While it is a wax-based solution, it is applied very easily through a useful spray can. It sticks and dries quickly leaving you with a perfectly sealed, barely noticeable result! It can be found here:
How To Seal Copper Patina?
In some cases, a little tarnish might actually be just what we’re looking for. This is known as a patina finish, but how do we achieve this?
We’ll need to prevent the patina from developing further, and you guessed it, we’ll use sealing to achieve that goal!
Wait a couple of days to achieve the wanted level of patina finish.
Then seal your piece using any of the methods mentioned above, using spray, wax, or paintbrushes. Wait for it to dry and then enjoy a beautifully finished piece of patina-finished copper jewelry!
How Do You Get Rid Of Patina And Why Would You?
However, a patina finish isn’t always what we’re looking for!
Sometimes we prefer to enjoy shiny copper in all its glory, in this case, patina is the worst thing that can happen.
This begs the question; how do you get rid of patina?
We can get rid of most patina by using a little DIY cleaning solution. Simply mix a cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of salt.
Now rub this solution softly onto the tarnished piece, then rinse off and watch the patina disappear in no time!
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How Do You Remove The Clear Coat From Copper?
In some cases, we’re looking to do the exact opposite of sealing.
In these situations, we’d like to remove the clear coat from our jewelry to either add a patina finish or reseal it! How do we do this? Let’s have a look!
Removing the clear coat can easily be done using acetone-based nail polish remover.
Simply dip a cloth in the acetone remover and rub the clear coat off.
After doing this it’s important to wash and dry your piece of copper in hot water to prevent the acetone from damaging the copper itself.
Final Thoughts on… How To Seal Copper Jewelry?
All in all, copper is a beautiful metal and perfect for many solutions.
Its only downside is the oxidation process, which, as we’ve seen today, can easily be countered by sealing our pieces!
After reading this article you should now know exactly what method to use and how to apply the clear coat! Thank you for reading and good luck sealing your copper jewelry!
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Sources In MLA Format:
“Copper and Metal Jewelry Facts.” Julie Teeples Presents Oak City Gallery – Artisan Jewelry, www.oakcitygallery.com/copper-jewelry-facts.html#:~:text=Yes%2C%20absolutely!,several%20coats%20of%20Renaissance%20Wax.
“Home →.” Jewelry Making Journal, jewelrymakingjournal.com/easy-patina-finishes-for-copper-and-brass/#:~:text=A%20day%20or%20two%20after,before%20applying%20the%20next%20coat.
“How to Inhibit or Stop the Copper Patina Process.” Hunker, www.hunker.com/13416142/how-to-inhibit-or-stop-the-copper-patina-process.
“How to Restore Bronze, Copper, and Brass.” Metal Men Recycling, 24 Apr. 2019, www.metalmenrecycling.com.au/how-to-restore-bronze-copper-and-brass/.
“How To Use Renaissance Wax To Prevent Tarnished Jewellery.” Site Name, www.kernowcraft.com/jewellery-making-tips/texturing-patina-finishing-advice/how-to-prevent-tarnish-with-renaissance-wax#:~:text=It%20is%20so%20easy%20to,create%20an%20invisible%20protective%20layer.
“Restore & Protect Jewelry from Tarnish.” Everbrite Coatings, www.everbritecoatings.com/jewelry#:~:text=ProtectaClear%C2%AE%20is%20practically%20invisible,spraying%2C%20brushing%20or%20by%20dipping.
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