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February 2014

Applying Black Patina on Zinc Came

Getting a successful black patina onto zinc came can sometimes be challenging.  However, it is possible, and success rests in the method (and sometimes type of patina) that you use.

Through trial and error, I have found that the keys to getting a good, consistent black stain on zinc came are preparation and a little patience. 

1)  The first preparation step is to remove oxidation from the surface of the came.  Even if your came is newly purchased, there will still be some oxidation on the surface.  You may notice that zinc came has a dull look.  To remove oxidation, rub briskly with steel wool.  The surface will look smooth and shiny when the oxidation is removed.

2)  Next, clean away any remnants of the steel wool by cleaning the came with a soft cloth.  Old cotton rags work great for this, and I’ve found that a dry cloth works as well, if not better than a wet one.