Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Creating a Patina for Copper Beehive Roof.

First Treatment Oct 1 2013
 The copper roof of the first beehive darkened, but did not develop a light green patina.  The dark metal absorbed heat on sunny days, and was too hot to the touch.  I covered it with foam and reflective insulation, which helped.  But now I want a green patina, which will be much lighter, almost white.  That should reflect more light.

I looked up various recipes for creating a patina.  Just letting it weather, that could take years.

Most of the recipes called for various chemicals, especially ammonia.  I didn't want to buy chemicals just for this treatment.  I also saw historical information, and folklore, that sculptors and roofers pee on fresh copper to create a patina.

It sounds unusual, and to some might be unpleasant, but there's no reason not to use that approach.  I used a plant mist-er to spray fresh urine on the copper surface, then let it dry.  Each day that I'm at the Battleground place, I've been adding another treatment.

So far, so good.  A patina is rapidly forming on the copper top.  The first beehive, which is also outside in the same weather, doesn't have even a hint of light green.  Just dark oxidation.

I'll continue the spray treatment until the patina is more fully developed.  I like the effect so far.  There is no accumulation or discoloration of the white paint.  Despite what might be thought, no odor that I can appreciate.

The same liquid can also serve as deer and rabbit deterrent.  It has the advantage of being free.  The disadvantage is, it washed off in the rain.  I've been using up left-over liquid by spraying around fruit trees.
After 4 treatments Oct 8 2013

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