Sealing patinas, brass, and copper with wax

by delpfinewelch on October 12, 2008

Two related questions that I’ve seen more than once in the two years that I’ve been following the Orchid forum, are “how do I seal patinas?” and “how do I seal brass/copper?”  I’ve had these questions too.  So, I searched the Orchid forum and distilled the answers into two possibilities:  wax and lacquer.  This post is about wax, what kind, and where to find it.  My next post will be about lacquer after I try out my new setup.

I think it was Cynthia Eid who said, “the more carnuba in the wax, the better.”  I set out to find a wax with a high carnauba content.  I searched the Web and learned about carnauba.  In its natural state, it’s as hard as a rock.  It’s usually sold as a paste wax mixed with something else.  Lesser quality paste waxes that have carnauba in it are more like a lotion.  That’s what you find in your local auto store.

It wasn’t until I found some other forums — about cars — that I got the answer on where to find a good carnauba wax at a good price.  Your local Harley-Davidson store is where to go!  You can get the same exact wax that’s sold for luxury cars at half the price.  The product is S-100 Carnauba Wax.  When I bought it last year, it was $15 for 6 oz.  Here’s what it looks like so you won’t feel as goofy as I did in the Harley store not knowing what I was looking for.

S-100 Carnauba Wax

S-100 Carnauba Wax

I used it today to seal Silver Black in the grooves of a pendant I was finishing up.  I cut the quarter-size Chrysocolla stone.

Chrysocolla Pendant

Chrysocolla Pendant

Speaking of motorcycles, if you are over 40 and haven’t yet seen the movie Wild Hogs, check it out!

delpfinewelch

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michael Johnson October 13, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Great article, but I wanted to share my experiences with wax.

I have been using Renaissance Wax, which is a microcrystaline wax that has been used by museums for many years. It is archival, can be used on many surfaces, and staves off oxygen to prevent tarnish or changes in coloration of the patina. Microcrystaline waxes, are used to pull a microscopic layer of protection over the surface. It is permanant until chemically removed with acetone.

I used to have to order it from England, but now Rio carries it for the convenience of US jewelers. :o)

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