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Fakenham, England, NR21 7AE
United Kingdom


Iron Green Bronze Patination


Iron Green Bronze Patination

wayne mckinney

vanessa pooley

'Butterfly' by Vanessa Pooley


Iron Green Bronze Patination



Naturalistic patterned patina, with iron and green being the predominant colours. The contrasting colours create a intense, vibrant surface colour and when applied in thin layers a real translucent depth can be achieved. The application of this patina is straight forward, the patterning is dictated by brush size and type and the balance of chemicals in the solution. 

Metal Preparation

Silicon bronze sanded to a even 120 grit

Base Coat Chemical

 M20 / antiquing solution

Base Coat Application

Warm bronze very gently, apply weak solution of basecoat. You want the bronze to change colour gradually, continue applying solution to develop a good even colour. Rinse the surface with water and a brush, this removes some of the residue and helps to neutralise the chemical reaction. Heat the bronze until a fine dusty film appears on the surface, remove this with 120 grit scotch brite pad or other appropriate soft abrasive. 


1st Colouring Coat chemical solution


Water ----- 250 ml
Medium Copper Nitrate solution ----- 2 teaspoons
Iron Nitrate ------ 1/4 teaspoon
Additional Fixative ----- Weak sodium silicate solution


1st Colourcoat Application

Heat the bronze evenly, the solution should just sizzle and evaporate away as you apply it with a natural haired paint brush. Take small amounts of solution into brush at each application, as the brush warms up it natural sucks the solution up into the brush. Use a small brush to mix this solution, the two main components do settle out a little. The oxide that forms on the surface of the bronze should develop into a green hoop or ring with a iron centre. Using different shaped brushes you will be able to develop different patterning. The two main chemicals in this solution can easily be adjusted, just be aware that iron is much more intense than the copper nitrate. We have had best results with multiple applications of thin layers, this develops a nice translucent depth to the final patina.


Sealing Solution

Sculpt Nouveau Smart Coat - 1K Polymer Sealant


When the bronze is at room temperature, we use soft cloth or brush to apply 3 coats, letting them fully dry between applications. 


To add additional colour to highlight areas, we mix a small amount of pigment with a small amount of sealant and use a sponge or brush to add this mixture.

Darkening Shadowing

To create shadows or to darken areas we use a graphite wax, this is thinned down with a clear wax to create a translucent paste. This is applied both under final wax layers or over the final wax layers.

Final Wax layers

We use renassiance wax for the final waxing. Its applied with a soft brush in a very thin layer, left for 10 mins and buffed to a hard finish. We add three or four layers, with the final layer buffed to the final finish.