Here is an old trick, this is nothing new, but it is a nice review for those of you starting out with stained glass and the copper foil technique. Years ago I found this technique hard to believe; so, I tried this and to my pleasant surprise it really works. When you are finishing up your panel and have decided to put a copper patina on your solder lines give this a try.
Before anything happens make sure that you have neutralized the patina and given your entire panel a good washing. We like to neutralize the flux and then wash our panels in Orvus soap. The reason for the Orvus is because Orvus is sodium lauryl sulfate. It is 100% biodegradable and does not contain any phosphates. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a “surfactant” – it removes residues that are oily. What it comes down to in simple terms (and the aspect that concerns us most) is that it is a “wetting agent.” Orvus removes the surface tension and allows the water to do the cleaning.
Once that is done dry your panel with some clean rags or towels. Now comes the strange part. Take a good polish like Liva for stained glass and put it on both side of your panel just like you would when you wax your car. When the Liva has dried and come to a light haze all over the panel, buff all of it off with a clean rag turning the rag on a regular basis.
You are now ready to put on your Novacan Super Bright Copper Patina. Pour some patina into a separate dish; we use a small dish like you would for Grandma’s custard. Take a brush, or sponge and carefully go over all your solder lines being careful to not go on the outside copper framing. When you are all done rinse your panel with water one more time then give it another Liva polishing and voilá a beautiful copper patina on your stained glass panel.
Try it, you’ll be amazed.