This article will explain how to force patina your mod and make it look original. Explaining in detail how to prepare your mod for patina, what to buy, how to achieve designs and how to avoid any mistakes or damages.
Firstly, what the hell is forced patina anyway?
Simply put, a forced patina is a quick erosion of the items surface. On antiques and old metals you will notice (mainly brass and copper) with age they may discolour, some will form pits of corrosion with green or black spots. This is called the surface patina. The process of forced patina involves speeding up this process to create an aged one off look, without waiting for years. With a bit of skill and imagination you can turn a surface patina into a work of art.
Things you should know
- Forced patina only really works with brass and copper. See paint swirling and mod wraps for all aluminium and steel mods.
- Only use mods with little to no internal wiring, mech mods are the best to use as most are basically just metal sleeves.
- Materials used to forced patina are harmful if used wrong. Use rubber gloves and eye protection in a well ventilated room.
Where to Start
First you will need to do some shopping and prepare the area and mod you are planning in doing this. Patina works the best when left for a few days to corrode so ensure that the mod can be left in the room that long. Please see manufacturers documents if you are unsure how to dismantle your mod.
- A Copper/Brass Mod (Dismantled)
- Petroleum Jelly (Vasoline)
- Rubber Gloves
- High Strength Domestic Ammonia
- A Glass or Tupperware Container With Lid
- An Empty Liquid Spray Bottle
- Fine Grade Sandpaper
- Wire (any)
- Salt (Sea Salt Works Best)
- Spray Clear Lacquer
**You may want to add a design to your patina too. This will require extra items. You can mask off areas of the mod which do not need patina, creating a design or pattern. You can use nail varnish or vinyl/strong adhesive insulating tape to mask off areas like the picture below, or you can cover the mod in netting/fishnet tights to get a dragon scale effect at the end. Please Note: You may want to buy these items at separate shops. You may get some strange looks off the public with a shopping list containing fishnet tights, nail varnish, Vaseline and rubber gloves 🙂 .
Getting Ready To Rock
Now you have done your embarrassing shopping it’s time to get ready. Dismantle your mod if you haven’t already, you may want to keep some rings and parts without patina. Create a work area that is ventilated and that will not be disturbed for a couple of days. Lay down some old sheets or old towels, as ammonia will stain fabrics if spilled. Gather your equipment and we’l get started.
LETS GET STARTED
You will want to sand down the mod (not the screw threads or important bits). Use fine grade sandpaper (grade 300 or above) and gently sand your mod so all the areas you want with patina have a scratched surface.
Clean the sanded mod with water and soap, then leave to dry on some kitchen roll. Clean the mod WITH RUBBER GLOVES ON. Your fingerprints have oils that attach to a surface, these oils may effect the patina so keep gloves on from this point.
Get your tub and line the bottom with paper kitchen towel. Just a few pieces should do it. If you want to cover the mod with fishnet tights, or maybe mask some areas with nail varnish or tape, now is the time to do it. If not move on to step 4.
Next get vasoline and apply to all the parts you do not want a patina. We recommend application with a cue tip. Be sure not to get vasoline on the parts you want patina on, but coat all threads, pins, and anything you want to protect against corrosion. Threads are the most important here, you will want to screw your mod back together wont you?
Next pour ammonia in your empty spray bottle as we need this quite often. Spray the kitchen towel in the tub with plenty of ammonia. Once you finished spraying pour an even layer of salt onto the ammonia soaked kitchen towel.
Next use some strong wire to suspend your mod parts above the ammonia soaked kitchen towels. Make sure the mod parts are not touching the kitchen roll and are suspended by the wire. Loop the wire under the tub “lip” to hold the mod in mid-air.
Spray the surfaces you can see with plenty of ammonia. When you have done this sprinkle with salt but not to much, just a small even layer will do.
Gently rotate the mod parts. Be careful not to wear away the vasoline and do not knock off any salt or ammonia while rotating. After this spray with ammonia and salt again but on the untreated sides.
Place the lid on the tub and leave to corrode. Wait a couple of hours till you see something happening. Good things come to those who wait. After a couple of hours- spray, salt, rotate, spray and salt. Repeat this process for a day or two.
Now uncover the tub and leave in a well ventilated area to dry off completely. It will look a bit rough at this point but that’s normal.
You need to clean the mod, remove any crusts gently and clean threads as best you can. be careful with the threads, take your time and be gentle. Lightly sand your mod as smooth as you can, trying to neaten up the edges.
Next use tape to wrap around your threads to protect against the clear lacquer. Spray a THIN coat of clear lacquer leave to dry for a short while, spray a second thin layer, leave to dry, and then a third layer. This is important because a thick layer will run and drip. Give it a very light sand and maybe coat it a forth time with lacquer to get that high gloss, smooth polished surface.
Finally clean up any small blemishes you can and we recommend coating the mod with turtle wax and giving it a hard polish. Your mod is now ready to go and looking so fly.
You can use various items to get different results with your patina. For example, you can achieve a brown/mustard swirl colour with spots using egg with your salt and ammonia solution. With new patina methods and forced designs being found all the time, the world of forced patina mods are just getting started.
There is only one conclusion. Forced patina is awesome. It’s a great way to create a one-off vape. Care needs to be taken to achieve a professional looking result but practice makes perfect. maybe try experimenting on some other metal items or old mods first to get the hang of it. If you enjoyed this article please comment, like or share to help others achieve fantastic looking unique mods.