Ever wonder how to use liver of sulfur for your copper jewelry?
I’m not a big fan of the look of bare copper in my wire-wrapping – I patina all my jewelry pieces. I love the antiqued look because it makes all the intricate details of the wire POP OUT!
Liver of sulfur is very easy to use and it’s available in a solid form or gel form. Personally I prefer the gel.
NOTE: Patina is the noun used to describe a method for giving your copper a different look. In this blog post, I only discuss liver of sulfur.
Use liver of sulfur in a well-ventilated area – it stinks like rotten eggs.
As usual, make sure to take all necessary safety precautions – it’s recommended to use latex gloves, safety glasses and an apron.
- Wire-Wrapping for Beginners
- Wire-Wrapping Tools & Supplies for Beginners
- How to Make a Spiral Bead Cage Pendant
- Wire-Wrapping Tutorials: 13 DIY Wire-Wrapped Pendants
- Wire-Wrapped Ring Tutorials – How to Wire-Wrap Rings
- Liver of sulfur
- Hot water
- Plastic container
- Plastic cutlery
- Neutralizing bath (see below)
- Dish soap
- Steel wool (#0000)
Once you remove your items from the liver of sulfur, you’ll need to place them in a neutralizing bath.
All you need is a plastic container, water and baking soda.
I don’t have an exact recipe – I just add a few tablespoons of baking soda to a few cups of water.
Disposal of Liver of Sulfur
Don’t dump your liver of sulfur solution down the drain. Simply place a lid on the container and let it sit for a few days.
You’ll notice that the solution will clear up and form a thin white layer on the surface.
This means that the solution has naturally neutralized, and can be poured down the drain.
How to Use Liver of Sulfur as Copper Patina
Step 1 – Start with clean copper. This is a piece that just came out of the tumbler.
Step 2 – In clean plastic dish, add hot water and a couple drops of liver of sulfur.
Step 3 – Mix with plastic cutlery – liquid should be bright yellow.
Step 4 – Add your clean copper piece to the liver of sulfur.
IMPORTANT: Not all gemstones/crystals/stones can be dipped in liver of sulfur. Always research before using on expensive stones.
Step 5 – Move piece around with plastic cutlery. Please note that it only takes a few seconds for the patina to occur.
Step 6 – Remove from liver of sulfur when happy with the results. Personally, I like my pieces to be very dark.
Step 7 – Drop the piece in the neutralizing bath for a few minutes.
Step 8 – Once the piece has been neutralized, rinse under water and dry off.
Step 9 – Add a couple drops of dish detergent to a small piece of steel wool (#0000).
Step 10 – Run water over the steel wool and squish it to get sudsy.
Step 11 – Lightly scrub the surface of your piece (all over).
Step 12 – Keep scrubbing and keep rinsing with water to check on progress. Keep going until you are happy with results.
Step 13 – Rinse well and dry.
At this point you can polish the piece to make it really shiny – this is the finished Crescent Moon pendant.
If you’d like to see my work and follow my wire journey, you can find me here: