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How Can I Patina Brass?

What is Patina Brass?


Patina is a natural tarnish that forms on brass and various other metals over long periods of time. This occurs through metals being exposed to oxidising environments such as weather or pollution. A patina finish adds a more antique look in which many people find appealing. To speed up this process, you can go through a few chemical processes. These processes can be applied to various Brass pieces such as sheet, round bar, angle, box section, flat bar, channel, square bar and tube.

What to do before before I begin?


  1. Clean all sides of brass piece. Use liquid dish soap and warm water to scrub brass. Any oils or contaminants will resist any chemical responses so it's important to wash thoroughly. Make sure all soap is removed before continuing. 
  2. Cover with baking soda. Sprinkle surface with baking soda and then scrub using a piece of steel wool. Ensure that you don't scrub against the direction as the grain of brass as this can cause damage to incur.
  3. Wash the baking soda off. Place brass under water to get rid off baking soda. Make sure you don't use your hands as you want to keep the brass piece as clean as possible
  4. Dry brass piece. Use paper towel to dry brass piece. Avoid touching the metal with your hands.

How can Ammonia be used to Patina Brass?

Patina Brass

What do I need?

  • Container with lid
  • Paper towels
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Salt 


  1. Find a deep container and fill with paper towels. Ensure container is big enough to hold paper towels and brass piece. The container must be clean and have a lid that shuts securely. 
  2. Pour Ammonia over towels. Due to Ammonia being a hazardous chemical, make sure you carry this out in well ventilated area and that your eyes and hands are protected with gloves and goggles.
  3. Sprinkle salt on paper towel. Put a large amount of salt over the paper towels, ensure it is distributed evenly. 
  4. Cover brass piece in paper towels. Make sure all sides of brass piece is covered in ammonia soaked paper towel. Once covered, pour more ammonia onto paper towel and then place lid on top. 
  5. Check on patina brass. In order to achieve the best outcome, make sure you check on brass every hour till your preferred look occurs.
  6. Finish the piece. Remove brass from container and leave to air dry. Then wash away any remaining ammonia and allow to dry again. 

How can Salt and Vinegar be used to Patina Brass?

Salt and Vinegar to Patina Brass

What do I need?

  • Container with lid
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Brush


  1. Pour Salt and Vinegar into container. You don't need too much of either just ensure that vinegar covers bottom of container and the salt dissolves through.
  2. Coat Brass Piece in solution. Use your brush to coat brass piece in areas you would like to tarnish. Then, leave bras piece in solution and put lid on container. Ensure that you turn the container every hour so that there's an even coat of salt and vinegar.
  3. Finish the piece. Once you have achieved your preferred look, take out of container and rinse under water. Then allow the brass piece to air dry.

How can hard boiled eggs be used to patina brass?

Eggs to make Patina Brass

What do I need?

  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Container with lid / Ziploc bag


  1. Boil the egg. Ensure egg yolk is solid. Once boiled, put egg under cold water so it's easier to handle but you still want egg slightly warm.
  2. Place egg in container/bag. Cut the boiled egg in half and make sure there is no direct contact with brass piece and that container/bag is sealed.
  3. Leave to sit. Let the container/bag sit for several hours, do not open as this can disrupt the process.
  4. Finish the piece. Once you have achieved your preferred look, clean with wax to protect your look.

What can I do after ageing my brass?


  • After a couple of days, you can coat your patina brass in wax. This will help preserve the new look of the metal.
  • If some areas are too dark, you can lighten these areas by rubbing with steel wool.
  • If you dislike the new look, you can clean with Brasso to give new polished look again.


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