If you remember from last time I wrote, we were testing different finishes on six little copper coils. Sorry for the wait, but I wanted to give each finish ample time to tell their individual stories. Here is what I found:
It has been about two weeks since I added different polishes to my raw copper coils. They sat in a wax paper coated pie pan in the shade on my porch. I live in Florida and we have had some really great humid days. With humidity and heat being a major factor to tarnish development, I thought this would provide me with the information I have been seeking. I work with a lot of copper, myself, and want to provide my customers with the best options for tarnish resistance.
Here are the final pics: First, here is the picture of the coil that was unfinished the entire time:
As you can see, there are many dark spots and it has lost its shine.
The next picture is of the coil finished with Renaissance Wax or Ren Wax, for short. I was sorely disappointed in the results here. To be honest, I finished a new Pendant and chain I recently made with the Ren Wax and wore it outside all day Saturday. While my neck did not turn green, the pendant turned color and lost the nice sheen I had given it with gun blue and lots of waxing. The results, overall, aren't as bad as the unpolished coil has, but I was still disappointed with the results. I have to say, however, that I only put on one layer of wax. I know some users put on multiple layers of this particular wax.
Next, you can see the results from the use of the Mass Commercial Paste. When I first put this on the coil I was amazed at the shine I got! I was immediately in love with the product. I had really high hopes but it, too, developed some areas of tarnish, about like the Ren Wax. Remember, however, when I finished each coil, I did only the top surface and did not try to get the finishes down into the grooves or onto the back.
I also tried to peel this finish off with my finger nails and a serrated kitchen knife. I was able to mar the finish. After all, copper is a soft metal. But the finish did not peel. I was thinking it might peel off like bad nail polish. You know, like a plastic of some sort I would be able to get a hold of and peel off. No way! It stuck fast. I am told by the folks at Everbrite, that if the product is allowed to "cure" for a few days, it develops a really durable finish.
Here are some more interesting tidbits for your memory banks. Even though the Ren Wax Maas products still allowed the copper to tarnish, it easily cleans up when applied again. I also found that shining the coils without reapplication of Maas gave the coils a variety of colorful patinas. Unfortunately some of the tarnish remained, but the colors were fascinating!! The coils took on a kind of iridescence. I may have to play with that some more, as I love color, and fire (heating the copper to get color) isn't safe for me. I'm a little accident prone.
Another thing I found out quite by accident. I had a piece of jewelry that I used liver of sulfur on. I didn't tumble it or rub it out much and sealed it with PretectaClear. The copper turned really dark brown, even though it was sealed and in an anti-tarnish bag. I'm thinking that maybe the ProtectaClear somehow sealed in the effects of the LOS, even though I had given it a neutralizing bath in baking soda. Just food for thought. The effects have seemed to stop at dark brown, but I am keeping an eye on this particular piece for sure.
I am not trying to tell you to use or not use any of these products. They each have very different and endearing qualities. I wanted the information for myself and thought I would share my findings with you. If you have any questions or have found different results, please feel free to message me.
Until next time, keep on doing what you do...and Stay Wired Up!!