for more information regarding choosing a thickness for your project. Also, see our Project Advice, Tips, and Tutorials page for advice specific to your project. If you still have questions, please email us, call (252-491-2812) or use our live chat service.
What can I use to remove fingerprints from my copper foil?
If you do not use gloves when handling copper sheets, the oil from your fingers will stain the copper. Removing these stains can be accomplished by gently wiping the copper using products such as Tarn-X and Brasso (note that when trying to remove stains from our patina copper sheets, you should avoid cleaners as it may disturb and discolor the patina). You can also use a homemade mixture of lemon juice, salt, and baking soda (skip the salt for less abrasiveness). Note: At Basic Copper we handle your copper sheets using gloves and take great care to make sure the copper arrives in the best possible condition!
What kind of finish does your copper sheet have?
Excluding our patina copper sheets, all of our copper sheet and copper foil has a smooth commercial finish (also known as "mill" finish). On occasion, you will notice a small amount of mineral oil on your copper sheeting. This is applied at the mill to slow down the oxidation process and help the rolling process. It can be removed quite easily with a cloth and a gentle buffing.
What is copper foil?
Copper foil typically denotes thin copper sheeting.005" (5 mil or 36 gauge) and thinner. Our copper foil stock consists of .001" (1 mil), .0014" (1.4 mil), .003" (3 mil ) and .005" (5 mil or 36 gauge). We also sell thicker copper sheeting. See our .008" (8 mil), .010" (10 mil), .016" (16 mil), .0216" (22 mil or 24 gauge/16 ounce), .032" (32 mil or 20 guage), and .040" (40 mil or 18 gauge) stock.
Does "mil" mean millimeter?
No. Mil is an industry term used to describe the thickness of copper sheeting. The lower the "mil" number the thinner the copper sheet. For example, 1 mil copper foil is thinner than 1.4 mil copper foil, 8 mil copper sheet is thinner than 10 mil copper sheet and so on.. The thickness of copper sheeting is also often identified by "gauge." In terms of gauge, the lower the gauge number, the thicker the copper sheet is. So 36 gauge (5 mil) copper foil is thinner than 30 gauge (10 mil) copper sheet and 30 gauge (10 mil) copper sheet is thinner than 26 gauge (16 mil) copper sheet. Sometimes the thickness of copper is referred to by its thickness in inches and how many ounces it weighs per square foot. So 5 mil copper foil is often referred to .005" and 10 mil as .010" and 16 mil as .016". 16 mil/26 gauge copper sheet is also referred to as 12 oz. copper sheet and .0216" (24 gauge) copper sheet is often referred to as 16 oz. copper.
Will this copper sheet develop a patina?
Yes, copper left untreated will develop a beautiful green patina over time. The patina actually serves to protect and preserve the copper from corrosion. Of course, how long this process takes depends on the surrounding environmental conditions. For example, this process happens much faster when the copper is outside exposed to the elements rather than inside a climate-controlled building. Click on the following link to read a great article about the oxidation process from
Can I speed up the oxidation process?
Yes, because the oxidation process is a relatively slow one, many people wish to speed it up via
. We sell a variety of patina solutions and copper sheets with the patina already applied.
Can I keep my copper sheet from developing a patina?
Some people prefer to keep the new shiny look of copper by sealing with a variety of different clear coats. Check out these excellent articles about clear coating from copper.org: