So a lovely Co-worker of mine, K, has been advising customers to do this forever. It’s a method of antiquing metal which I’d been previously unaware of, but decided to try last night (finally). I’m calling it the Egg-In-A-Jar method.
Basically, according to K, you hard boil an egg. Can’t be too hard right? Turns out it’s actually surprisingly easy, with a little help from Google. So you boil an egg. Pick out the beads/findings/whatever metal it is that you’re going to antique. I chose some beads I got for free, one in every metal I’ve got.
Like you’d tag a picture, we’ve got shiny antique brass, shiny copper, antique brass, shiny silver, antique copper, and shiny gold. I didn’t bother with gunmetal, and I’m rather glad I didn’t. Not like it can get that much darker.
So your basic technique is, take your hard boiled egg, stick it in a glass jar with your beads/findings/whatever.
Put a lid on it, unless you like your refrigerator to smell like eggs. Stick it in the fridge.
About 12 hours later there’s some progress. You could see the antiquing starting to work out. At about 24 hours I took a look and pronounced my egg-speriment a success.
I kept twins of them separate, as a control group (if you want to be all technical about it). Mostly so I could get them side to side and see what the difference was. So again, like you’d tag a picture. (Original colors on the bottom) antique copper and antique brass. I couldn’t tell the difference… they’d both gone sort of grey-ish. I wasn’t really expecting much from them, I just wanted to see what they’d do. Shiny antique brass went matt, and it got darker, success! Shiny silver went antique, like the kind you’d buy in the store, success! Shiny copper did the same thing, and so did gold. It works people, it works!
I’m mostly really excited about this because I don’t like shiny gold all that much but I recently came by a lot of it for free, and who am I to turn down free beads? Now, with this magical Egg-In-A-Jar method, I can use them and actually like what I make!
It’s worth noting that I couldn’t just rub off the antique finish. I’m sure you could polish it off if you tried, but it doesn’t just come off like some kind of crappy veneer finish. No, you don’t have to smash the egg, just stick it on in there. I only did this for 24 hours, but I bet you could get the metal darker if you left it in longer.
So much more to try out now that I know this technique!
*Sorry about the slightly blurry photos. I was forced to borrow my brother’s girlfriend’s old camera, so they’re not the best. Fingers crossed for a new camera soon!