Using Liver of Sulfur

One of the most frequent questions in the store is how to use liver of sulfur. This is a chemical sold in liquid or rock form that gives metal a patina. It primarily lends an oxidized black color to sterling and other metals. It is great for giving your piece an antique finish, or for highlighting areas that have been textured or stamped. Dedicate two plastic bowls (tupperware is perfect) and an old pair of pliers or tweezers for this. Place warm to hot water in one, ice cold water in the other. Place a drop of liver of sulfur liquid or one rock pellet in the warm water. It will start turning yellow and smelling like rotten eggs immediately. Dip your metal in with your pliers, not your hands. Dip your metal in the liver of sulfur solution and then right into the cold water. Do this several times until achieving the color you want. The cold water halts the coloration process. You can then rub the piece with steel wool to get off any oxidation you don’t like.

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