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Playing With Patina Inks

Browsing the internet a couple of weeks ago which I tend to do when there's something else I really should be doing (the ironing) but don't really want to do (the ironing), I came across some Ranger patina inks by Vintaj. They looked really interesting and a great way to add some colour to metal. Intrigued I visited the Vintaj site which in my head I now pronounce as "vintaaj" after hearing how the American lady on the Vintaj video said it as she was demonstrating how to use the inks :D

It looked really easy to use - apply with a brush, let it dry for a few minutes then sand off. You can mix colours to create your own shades, add a drop of glaze to dilute the colour slightly and also use the glaze to seal the effect when you've finished. Of course I had to try them so I ordered the "Weathered Copper" turquoise/green set and the glaze from a UK website.They are designed to be used with Vintaj findings and filigree beads which look fantastic but you can use your imagination if you can't afford Vintaj stuff!

The earrings above are one of the first things I made using them. I textured and domed the discs then painted on the turquoise ink diluted with a drop of glaze. The patina inks work better on textured/filigree designs than plain metal and are much easier to remove if the piece is domed or round. Vintaj recommend using their reliefing block but I found using fine sandpaper or even wiping off the excess while it was still wet with kitchen roll depending on the piece worked just fine as long as you don't mind ending up with very colourful fingers.

My problem was that I don't like my jewellery with a bright copper finish and always oxidise it. Sanding the excess patina ink off left the copper lovely and bright and at that point I wasn't sure if the patina ink would take being dunked in liver of I thought I'd try heat patinating the copper (possibly an even worse option!) but it worked! A few swishes with my micro torch over the ink then concentrating around the the discs (not directly on the ink) and the copper turned a lovely golden colour, a quick quench and the patina effect was fine. Very cool. I've since tried it in liver of sulphur and that works too with no ill-effect - even more cool! The patina effect is stuck pretty fast on the metal and will only come off if attacked vigorously with a sharp pointy object which is fairly unlikely.

Here's a few other things I've made so far and I've just ordered the pink/purple set which is in the post as I write!

••• Warning! •••  
 lots of photos!

I stamped the design, applied the inks, removed the excess with kitchen roll, sanded then textured and oxidised

copper washer earrings

curvy triangle earrings

antique bronze tone links I was selling on eBay then decided I couldn't compete price-wise with the Chinese wholesalers so decided to do "something" with them!

pure copper bead earrings

copper diamonds with green patina effect


  1. These are really lovely. You have done a good job!

  2. Hey, that works well doesn't it and I like the way you experimented to achieve the effect you wanted. The turquoise goes so well with the copper!

  3. These are great! Add a new dimension to your lovely pieces. I especially like the 1st pair.
    I may have a go at using the coloured ink on my stamped keyrings.
    Looking forward to seeing the pink/purple version...
    Martina x

  4. Lovely!! I love this colour!!

  5. These look great. Yet another thing to try!

  6. Wow these are stunning - will have to give this a go someday! x

  7. Looks fab! I especially like the "spotted" patina on the hammered copper. Very neat look.

  8. How to you get the spotted look of the turquoise so well with the copper?? Larry in New Mexico

    1. Hi Larry, I hammered the copper first using the ball end of a ball pein hammer then applied the ink. When it was dry I sanded some of it off so you end up with that texture. Hope that helps!

  9. did you use the glaze on all of these pieces? is the glaze necessary?

    1. I didn't use the glaze. It might be a good idea to use it on a piece that would get a lot of wear and tear maybe to protect the inks.

  10. I adore what you have done! Immediately ordered some. I doubt I will get it to look as nice as you have but it is exactly the look that I have been wanting to achieve. Hoping to get a kind of ethnic cloisonne effect without spending hours on it. Copper and turquoise are just meant to go together :)

    1. Thanks for your comment Dorothy. I hope you have fun experimenting with your patina inks :D


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