Major retailers and small jewelry businesses alike know that sealing copper jewelry is essential to keep it from tarnishing.
Without the proper lacquer or sealant on top, copper will tarnish quickly, causing it to lose its sparkly and appear almost dirty during wear.
Because copper is one of the least expensive metals utilized in jewelry making, it can be tough to keep it looking new.
If you’ve just taken up the hobby of jewelry making, and you’re wondering what you can do to keep copper from oxidizing, you’re not alone!
Many people worldwide have wondered how to seal copper jewelry, and luckily, it’s not as difficult as you might think.
How to Seal Copper Jewelry
To seal copper jewelry, first, you’ll want to clean the surface of the jewelry thoroughly. One tablespoon of salt and one cup of lemon juice is a great way to clean copper, so you’ll place the jewelry in this solution for just a moment before rinsing it in water. Next, rub baking soda all over the jewelry to neutralize the acid from the lemon juice, and choose a clear, store-bought lacquer. Finally, lay the jewelry out in a well-ventilated area and apply the lacquer. Let it dry completely.
Correctly Sealing Copper Jewelry
Copper jewelry is inexpensive to create for your customers and yourself, but it also oxidizes quickly.
The oxidation process can come with age, but it’s also common for different bodily chemistries to react differently with copper.
So, one person may see an unsealed piece of copper jewelry turn their finger green overnight, while others might not see any skin issues at all.
However, regardless of bodily chemical makeup, unsealed copper will still tarnish with age.
If you’re making or selling copper jewelry, or you already own a piece you’d like to seal, there is a simple process you can follow that will make your copper jewelry look new!
Clean the Jewelry
The first step in the sealing process is to clean the existing piece of jewelry of all buildup, including dirt and oils.
You can make your cleaning solution at home by combining one tablespoon of salt with a cup of lemon juice. Give it a quick stir, and you’re ready to begin!
Take the jewelry and dip it into the lemon/salt solution quickly.
You don’t have to submerge it for a long time, as it only takes a few seconds for the solution to do its job.
Once you’ve removed the jewelry from your homemade cleanser, rinse it off with lukewarm water. Placing it under the faucet will work just fine.
Baking Soda Rub
Next, you’ll want to neutralize the acid from the lemon juice mix, so take a small amount of baking soda and rub it all over the jewelry you want to clean.
You can use a toothbrush or a microfiber cloth, ensuring that you get baking soda into all the nooks and crannies.
Rinse the baking soda off of your jewelry with lukewarm water.
Choose a Sealant
When the baking soda is completely rinsed from your jewelry, dry it thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth or let it air dry.
You’ll want to choose a clear lacquer to apply to your jewelry, which is widely available online and in craft stores.
Sealants come in all shapes and sizes, and most often, you’ll find them in a spray or liquid that you apply with a brush.
Check to make sure your sealant includes a brush, and if not, pick up a small paintbrush to ensure a smooth application.
Apply the Lacquer
When your jewelry is dry, and you have your lacquer picked out, it’s time to apply it. You’ll want to do this in a well-ventilated area on a hard work surface.
Lay your jewelry out and spread the sealant on one side.
When the first side dries completely, you can move onto the other side. Be sure to spray evenly or apply in small, even brush strokes. Let it dry completely before wearing it.
A FewSealing Tips
It’s always good to begin a job knowing exactly how you want to approach it, as well as the tools you’ll need to do it correctly.
When you seal copper jewelry, you’ll want to:
- Wear latex gloves to keep the sealant off your skin and avoid contaminating the copper with the oils on your hands
- Find an outdoor workspace or wear a mask to prevent inhaling chemicals
- Work on a hard surface that is easy to wipe clean
- Remove any gemstones from their settings before using this method to clean copper jewelry
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Seal Copper Jewelry
Sealing copper jewelry is more accessible than most people realize, but it’s essential to do it right to avoid damaging the jewelry.
What can I use to clean my copper jewelry?
You have to clean your copper jewelry before sealing it, and to do this, you can combine one tablespoon of salt and one cup of lemon juice. If you don’t have these ingredients on hand, you can use white vinegar.
What should I use to seal my copper jewelry?
Any major craft store will have what you need to seal your copper jewelry, as will online retailers. A quick internet search will show you your best options along with customer reviews.
Sealing Copper Jewelry at Home
Whether you make jewelry for a living or you ordered a piece of copper jewelry that was never sealed, it’s relatively easy to seal copper jewelry at home.
With a few accessible supplies, you’ll have your copper jewelry looking new in no time!