Sunday, January 23, 2011

Using Patinas On Stained Glass Suncatchers

sing patinas on stained glass suncatchers will give each of your creations a unique appearance that usually cannot be duplicated exactly.

A patina is nothing more than a film or incrustation, that is produced by oxidation on the surface of the solder joint or came.

In nature, different types of metals take on different colors of patina when weathered by natural exposure to the elements.

Ancient coins for example, depending on the metal, can be dark brown, black, dark silver, different tones of green, etc.

The color tones depend on several factors.
  • What type of metal the coins are made of
  • The percentage of the metal
  • How long the coins were in the ground
  • What type of soil the coins were buried in
  • Dampness or humidity of the soil
  • Etc.
Old bronze coins are usually found green, which is produced by oxidation on the surface of old bronze and often esteemed as being of ornamental value.

Copper roofs and spires when installed are copper in color, but change to shades of green and eventually dark brown with time and the elements.

Similar films or coloration gradually appear naturally on other substances, the one exception being solid gold, which does not naturally oxidize.

With stained glass suncatchers, the patina colors normally used are black, bronze, brown and super brite brass.

Black patinas turns lead or solder to the same dark color that occurs naturally over time, only much more quickly.

The super brite copper patina for solder is a specially formulated copper patina that makes solder turn a very brite copper color.

It is premixed and is easily brushed on to your stained glass suncatcher project. This is often used for small brightly colored suncatchers.

Stained glass suncatcher patinas can be purchased in either a gel or liquid form. Both work extremely well.

The procedure for applying a patina is to first clean the solder joints or came with fine steel wool, (000) after your project is completely finished.

The lead should be shiny and completely free of any cutting oils.

Next apply your chosen patina if it is in liquid form, with either a natural sponge or a small hair brush, and allow it to sit until the desired color is achieved.

With gel patinas, follow the same procedure and dab the gel onto the joints with a sponge.

When you are happy with the color of the patina, thoroughly wash off the excess with soap and water.

The "Deco Bottles In A Frame" wall hanging has a dark brown patina that creates an antique type finish that is also frequently used on Tiffany style lamp shades.

Once you get the desired color, you can protect the joints of your stained glass suncatchers with a light coat of bees wax to prevent any unwanted color changes.

The nice thing about using patinas is that you can make several stained glass suncatchers from the same pattern and totally change the look of each project with only a little bit of effort.

With experience, you can develop more complex patina finishes that will give your stained glass suncatchers increased depth and beauty.


  1. Excellent explanation of how patinas naturally affect metals. Keep up the good work!


  2. can patina be used on faux stain glass such as gallery glass with lead strips.

  3. Is there a method to get a maroon color patina? Maybe using a mixture of the existing patina colors?