Chemical Patina Services for Copper and Other Metals
For Roof, Wall, and Metal Roof Accessories
What defines the word “patina”? It is best described as a tarnish which forms on and is most particularly (though not exclusively) applied to copper or bronze (which as we know is primarily composed of copper). This “tarnish” or more correctly termed, “oxide” is produced by oxidation or other chemical processes through treatments, age and exposure.
“Acquired patina” on copper and bronze (sometimes called verdigris) is the greenish patina developed from exposure to an array of chemicals, most often chlorides, sulfides, sulfates and carbonates.
How long does this process take? That depends on a number of variables. In an arid, rural setting with clean air where the material is less likely to encounter pollutants from factories etc. and there is less of a chance of encountering sulfurous acid rain and such, the patination process will take longer. It will also weather more evenly.
Conversely, in marine environments with high moisture and saline content, coppers will develop a patina much more quickly than their inland counterparts. In aggressive regions such as these, the copper can (at least initially) have a much more dynamic-looking finish.
From what the patina is made depends entirely on the chemicals with which the copper comes in contact. Polluted areas produce patinas with predominantly sulphide or sulfate compounds whereas basic copper carbonates are chiefly found in cleaner regions. The unique nature of each environment leads to a unique finish. No two buildings will weather alike, which provides unmatched natural beauty and individuality.
Many metals “protect” themselves from chemicals. Some metals lose mass during this attempt. Copper actually builds upon itself increasing strength and value. In our work as top historical restoration experts back in Europe, we have seen cross-sections of the inceptive copper applied to castles and cathedrals over six hundred years old which more than quadrupled the thickness of the original material.
There are only a handful of companies world-wide which offer a factory-made “acquired patina”. These are ultra-luxe metals with a price tag to match. Yes! You can get them right here! We are pleased to offer them. These are some of the most elite metal roofing choices and are extraordinarily beautiful. Here is an example of some factory-made oxidized/patinated coppers and alloys:
(We have other beautiful brands and finishes, too. Ask us!)
But if your goal is to kick-start the patinating process and get all the beauty for less than the cost of factory-made, “acquired patina” materials, we have your solution!
“Applied patina” as the name would suggest, is intentionally administered, chemically-induced copper patina. It is a cost-effective solution for achieving a weathered look instantly and has a number of other benefits.
Acquired patina has a rock-hard finish which is not easily damaged. Our applied patina takes a few weeks for the chemicals to penetrate the top layers of the metal and “bite” into it, so just a little extra care should be taken when installing. This said, if a little scratch occurs, no worries! The finish will “heal” itself quickly and will never be noticed.
We have been asked about how our chemical patina treatments work in coastal regions. The weathering of copper will absolutely speed up in relation to the proximity of air and water salinity. Our experience has been that bare copper on architectural features next to the ocean will weather quickly and unevenly. Copper does just fine by the ocean (Statue of Liberty) but because it is in a more aggressive environment, it can look a bit splotchy for a while. Frankly, this is a good reason to consider a pre-patinated material. It speeds up the patinating process and gives the copper a consistent place from which to start.
Chemical patinas are completely safe. They do not hurt or weaken the material nor do they cause any poisonous runoff. They simply speed up time and instantly give you the weathered character you seek.
We can apply chemical patina to any of our copper roofing products and accessories. Need a patina finish for your gutters or ornaments? Done!
In the gallery below, see how we apply our chemical patina finishes. You can also see our most popular patina colors on our copper shingles.
Have a specific metal or finish in mind? Let’s talk. There are so many choices for so many different metals. From subtle to our magnificent rainbow finish, give us the opportunity to make your metal roof and accessories artistically exceptional with chemical patina treatments!