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How to Preserve the Look of Copper

DIY Questions and Answer May 20, 2009 Chad



Q.  We received a copper fire pit as a Christmas gift. What kind of product can I put on the copper to prevent it from turning green or looking like an old penny?

 

A.  Copper has a tendency to develop a green patina with age. This oxidation happens when the copper is directly exposed to outdoor elements or acidic conditions. To keep your fire pit in its original condition, some professionals recommend using Bar Keeper’s Friend. You can also polish the copper surface and then apply furniture polish or car wax to seal the surface and prevent a patina from forming. A cheaper alternative is to rub the surface with salt and vinegar or even lemon wedges, and then rinse it off thoroughly. This deep-cleansing routine should be performed about once a month. For a more natural look, clean with regular kitchen soap or liquid detergent, and a caramel brown patina will eventually appear. A longer-term solution would be to put several coats of lacquer on the copper surface. Regardless of the product you choose, any coating will have to be reapplied periodically to maintain a pristine look.