Patinating a pewter piece turns it from shiny to the dreary, grey finish of age — a look admired by enthusiasts who focus on old pieces. The easiest, least messy means to get this done is to clean and degrease the post thoroughly and immerse it in a industrial pewter blackening solution, following the maker’s time suggestions. Then rinse and dry the piece, gently burnishing it with a soft fabric.Dedicated crafters can achieve the same results with messier, smellier liver of sulfur — in a well-ventilated work place.
Clean and degrease the bit of pewter to be aged. Avoid touching it with your bare hands so no skin oil interferes with the chemical reaction of the finish.
Arrange three disposable or committed containers for patinating your pewter with liver of sulfur. One is really a pot to heat distilled water; one is for alternative immersion; one is really a rinse container. Heat distilled water in the pot to just beneath boiling. Establish your dunking stations in a well-ventilated place, and put on a mask, protective goggles and gloves prior to dissolving or diluting the liver or sulfur.
Produce the solution by adding liquid liver of sulfur — about a teaspoon per half-cup of water — or the gel or chunk form. For gel, add a teaspoon to 12 ounces of hot water; for chunk, a pea-sized piece can be dissolved in a pint of hot water. It smells awful — a great reminder that you should be operating in an open space. Stir to mix with a plastic or wood mixer, because the patina will work on whatever steel.
Drop the pewter piece into a vat of hot water to heat it,. Then drop it into the hot liver of sulfur alternative, using a pair of nonmetallic tongs. Pull out it, and wait to find out how far the finish is affected. It will probably take a number of immersions in the liver of sulfur before you see the grayish patina you want.
Neutralize the chemical reaction when you have the ideal tone on the finish by immersing the pewter in the third, rinse container of baking soda and water or just plain water. Give the piece a last rinse in plain water, and dry it with a soft fabric.
Prevent additional oxidation using a layer of neutral wax polish to preserve the dull, antique finish. You might wash a patinated piece of pewter by hand in gentle soap and water, and gently dry it.