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black patina on stained glass leaf panel
Lovely shiny black patina

Do you have trouble getting your zinc came black? Here’s some tricks to make your panels gleam.

Question:

Thank you for the Pewter Black tip. I ONLY use Jax Pewter Black on my pieces, and of late, have been having trouble with it not turning out as dark as it has in the past. I even called the JAX company and asked if the aging process in the bottle could make it less potent. They said no.

Answer:

Sometimes the zinc came is a bit oily so it might be that that’s different, not the patina.

1. Scrub it with 0000 steel wool (the finest) on front, back and sides. Wear gloves when you do this and a mask as there’s lots of airborne bits of wool – not good! Make sure you get rid of all these bits before you use the patina.

2. Decant a bit of patina and don’t put it back in the bottle afterwards as it will contaminate the whole bottle. Use either a Q-tip, paper towel or small bit of sponge to apply the patina (gloves on). Wipe patina from the glass as you go as it can stain some glass and it’s not worth taking the risk!

Some people advise adding a bit 1/4 tsp table salt to the patina but I haven’t tried that so can’t comment on whether it works or not. If you try it let me know!

3. Don’t wash it again. Let it sit until it dries and then wax along with the rest of your panel.

4. You can always add another layer or two of patina if it’s not dark enough. i.e. – apply patina, rub again with steel wool, patina and more rubbing until you’re happy with the colour.

5. Make sure the patina has dried thoroughly before you do the final polish.

As usual with stained glass – and this is why we love it so! – there are many different ways of doing things. If anyone else has any other ideas, add them here and I’ll try them out. Thanks!

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