Silver tarnish required

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Silver tarnish required

Postby Doug Sanders » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:40 am

Can someone give me a quick recipe for tarnishing silver? I don't have any liver of sulphur or other fancy patination chemistry... It's to tone down a silver leaf application on wood. I'd love to have some sooty tones and /or white deposits.
Just the usual household chemicals, plus some wood-oxidizing chemicals available.
Thanks
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Re: Silver tarnish required

Postby Karl Wunderlich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:48 am

Hi Doug,
as it is leaf silver on wood, quick might be a bit of a problem.
If you a little more time try to build a tent made of plastic bags or maybe use a glas bell jar... ignite a bit of sulfur -half a gramm or so- in a little bowl and put it into the tent.
Smoke must be there. put your piece into this atmosphere and rremove as soon as the desired tone develops. Test pieces are mandatory... ventilation as well.
In olden days the gilders hang such pieces on wires into the sweet air of the earth pit of the outhouse. Rotten eggs are an option too.
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Re: Silver tarnish required

Postby Doug Sanders » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:51 pm

Thanks. Those were my thoughts too- exposing it to combustion of something sulphurous. Maybe the garden center will have something in the fertilizer department I can burn as well as use for my vegetables. :)
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Re: Silver tarnish required

Postby Glen G » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:13 pm

This is just intuition Doug but you might want to try putting a few hard boiled eggs under the tent, freshly boiled and still warm, shells removed :-). When done your lunch is half ready :biggrin: Maybe even just ignite a pile of matchheads ? It really does not take much fume to discolor silver leaf. Too much and it will go black.
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Re: Silver tarnish required

Postby Doug Sanders » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:22 am

Thanks Glen. As soon as the garden centers open for the spring, I'll go and try to find some sulfurous chemicals to experiment with, but the match idea will go in the mix. I'm not sure about the eggs :shifty:
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Re: Silver tarnish required

Postby Glen G » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:18 pm

It also depends on local air quality. Left outdoors bare Ag leaf will darken rather quickly, especially if theres any coal being burned nearby (power plant). Maybe make up a couple of test squares. Whatever way you choose if sulphur exposure is too extreme the leaf will go hard black.
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Re: Silver tarnish required

Postby Albert R » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:49 am

Hey Doug,
Glen is on to something there with the hard boiled eggs.
My mother has a full set of silverware, old school solid stuff from Spanish silversmiths. I had the dubious honor of polishing it before every holiday.
I recall one spoon that was placed behind the deviled eggs, and within a couple of hours it had gotten tarnished. The reason I recall it, is that Mom thought I had missed a piece, which was hardly likely as she cast a critical eye over each and every piece that was set out. I won't get into the post party counting, washing, drying, and repacking of the silverware...
I would give it a try as the cost is certainly low.

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