How to Make Metal Tarnish

Written by lorrie fenn
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How to Make Metal Tarnish
Look no further than your grocery store for an ingredient to tarnish metal. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Tarnishing metal will give it an antiqued look. The process of tarnishing metal is called oxidation. This is a chemical process that occurs when metal reacts to a substance, turning it into a dark patina. This natural process can be manipulated at home with a few simple ingredients.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Eggs
  • Plastic container

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  1. 1

    Place five eggs in a pan and cover with an inch of water. Set to medium-high heat.

  2. 2

    Turn off heat as soon as water begins to boil. Let eggs sit for 15 minutes in the hot water.

  3. 3

    Remove eggs from water and let cool.

  4. 4

    Peel hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs in a plastic container and mash.

  5. 5

    Place metal in the container and surround with eggs. Seal lid onto container and set aside for 15 minutes.

  6. 6

    Check metal every 15 minutes until it reaches the desired level of tarnish. Discard eggs.

  7. 7

    Clean metal with soap and water.

Tips and warnings

  • For tarnishing larger items such as tea kettles, simply boil more eggs and use a larger container for storage.
  • Do not eat eggs that have been used to tarnish metal.

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