Tutorial on How To Use Liver of Sulfur Gel

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on February 25 2011

Every wonder how some jewelry has that rich blackened look to it?
Ever want to do it yourself?
Maybe not. But...this will give you some insight into how I blacken my jewelry with liver of sulfur gel.
I wish the screen was scratch and sniff so you could get a whiff! I have an idea! Go hard boil an egg, then break it apart with a fork and hold it under your nose while your read. Yup, that's pretty much it...except worse! Ok, so how is it done?
Now open up the jar, carefully! Then dip a spoon you promise me you will never ever allow in your kitchen again...into the gel (a Popsicle stick also works really well, AND they are disposable!). You only need to coat the spoon. Allow the excess to drip off.
Now dip your spoon into container of hot water and allow the it to dissolve in the water.
It's pretty...isn't it? Now get your egg...inhale deeply.
First of all make sure your metal is CLEAN. Very clean. Then get your jar of Liver of Sulfur paste, a DEDICATED container FILLED WITH HOT WATER NOT BOILING for mixing (you can use cold water if you would like it to patina more slowly) and a spoon. I use Midas Liver of Sulfur XL Gel, but they are all basically the same.Get your piece of jewelry and dip it in the solution. This is where you decide how black you want your design. I dip until it is pretty much completely black. I am using my bare hands on the metal, I recommend wearing gloves!
When I flip it to blacken the other side, I use the spoon to dip and remove - NO BARE HANDS...k?
Your metal will continue to blacken until you neutralize it. If you are concerned about it getting too black, you should have your neutralizing solution (hot water and baking soda) nearby. I wait until I am finished. I'm not concerned with it blackening too much. (notice aforementioned spoon...ahem!)
Once I have blackened the entire piece it needs to be rinsed and neutralized. I find that dipping it in a solution of hot water and baking soda does the trick then rinsing the entire piece in water. Viola!! You now have a very black piece of jewelry. This look can work very well for some styles. I am hoping to just warm up the copper a bit, so I will take a piece of steel wool and rub it down until I achieve exactly the "look" I want!
And finally, like THIS!
This design is no longer available (update 2021) but I have several other pieces on my website utilizing this process! Click here to check them out! xoxoxo, lisa

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