Copper, which is one of the least expensive metals used in jewelry making, is also a little difficult to keep looking new. Copper jewelry often oxidizes, or tarnishes, by turning green. This is usually due to age or environment, but can also happen in reaction to a person's body chemistry. Some people can wear unsealed copper with no ill effects, while others may experience copper oxidation after wearing a copper jewelry piece for a single day. To avoid oxidation and keep copper looking new, the copper must be sealed.
Things You'll Need
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. salt
- Copper jewelry
- Baking soda
- Clear lacquer
- Latex gloves
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Create a cleaning solution to remove all oils from the surface of the copper jewelry. Mix 1 tablespoon of salt into 1 cup of lemon juice and let the salt dissolve. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
Put the copper jewelry into the lemon juice solution for a brief moment, then rinse it off with water.
Rub a small amount of baking soda all over the surface of the copper to neutralize the acid from the lemon juice solution. Rinse the baking soda off the jewelry.
Choose a clear lacquer. You can use a simple art product like Krylon Crystal Clear spray, or you can use a metal sealant like Everbrite Protective Coating.
Lay out your copper jewelry piece on a protected work surface in a well-ventilated room or outdoors.
Coat one side of the copper jewelry with your chosen lacquer. If you are using a spray lacquer, shake the can well before use and apply the spray in a smooth back-and-forth motion. If you are using a brush-on lacquer, use small, even strokes. Let the lacquer dry.
Turn the copper jewelry piece over and coat the other side with lacquer. Let the lacquer dry again.