Your Guide to Basic Copper's Patina Sheeting

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most popular questions about our patina copper sheeting. Please contact us via phone at 252-491-2812, via email at or through our "live chat" and we will be happy to discuss your project!

Which thickness should I use for my patina copper sheet project:  Heavyweight 22 mil or Lightweight 5 mil?

 Bar Tops, Countertops, Tabletops:

 Our customers have used both our heavyweight and our lightweight options for these projects. The right choice will depend on your design plan, the level of use of the area, the environment where it is located and mainly, personal preference.

One specific factor will be the tools you feel comfortable working with or have available.  The thin copper can be cut with household scissors or a utility knife, and the thicker copper can be cut with tin snips or electric hand shears.  It will also depend on the type of adhesives and sealants you want to work with.  It may also depend on the length of the sheet you are using and how many people are available to help with installation, as a long sheet of thin copper is more easily dented than a long sheet of thicker copper.

 You will also want to consider the substrate.  If it is smooth and flat, and free of any lumps, bumps, or depressions, then the 5 mil may be suitable. If it is not, you may want to consider the heavyweight option, or to cover the substrate with smooth MDF and then cover that with the lightweight option.  

 Our 5 mil lightweight patina copper is flexible and malleable, allowing for easy shaping and bending.  In contrast, the 22 mil heavyweight copper is more than four times as thick, still flexible enough to bend around curves or edge.  

The 5 mil copper is typically attached to the substrate with contact adhesives.  It is important to apply liberally enough to allow for any porous substrates to soak up some of the adhesives, and to attach at the appropriate level of tackiness. The 5 mil should be rolled from the middle out to remove any air bubbles, and you will likely want to protect the surface with a cloth or towel, and then use heavy books or other objects to help ensure the adhesion is complete.  The 22 mil is typically attached with a heavy duty construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails.  It should be applied liberally.  

 A flood coat of two-part epoxy resin is ideal to seal 5 mil copper in this use, allowing it to last long-term even in high-traffic zones. For projects that will receive just a few coats of our lacquer or a spray-on two-part solvent-based urethane resin, the heavyweight 22 mil copper is often preferred for its enhanced durability. Visit our copper sheet thickness guide for an in-depth comparison and instructional videos on these two varieties.




 For backsplash and rangehood installations, our 22 mil thick patina sheets are the ideal choice.  The thicker material can be secured directly to surfaces like drywall or cement board and offers lasting durability when finished with a few coats of lacquer.

 Construction adhesives such as Liquid Nails work well to secure the copper sheet.  We recommend troweling Liquid Nails to a liberal and even coverage, to ensure complete attachment.  Often copper nails are used in conjunction with the adhesive at the edges of the backsplash or at any seams.  This will help the adhesive set and will prevent the need for the use of tape on the surface, which may remove the lacquer and patina design.

 Some backsplash projects may accommodate the thinner 5 mil alternative. This thickness is often installed after being wrapped to a smooth and sturdy substrate, such as MDF or wooden board, ensuring the stability needed in high-use areas.  It is usually secured to the MDF or wood, with contact cement, and tacked on the back side.  It can then be covered with a 2-part epoxy while flat, or with multiple layers of lacquer, before the copper covered board is then attached to wall.   

 In some cases, where the backsplash substrate has a very smooth and sturdy presence, and where the backsplash is unlikely to be punctured or damaged, the 5 mil may be attached directly to the wall.  You will likely want to add coats of clear coat for easier and longer lasting protection from use and the cleaning of the sheet.

 Furniture Accents/ Cabinet Inserts

When used as an insert into a cabinet door, or furniture accent, you will want to consider the specifics of your project as either thickness of patina sheet can be used.  The surface of a cabinet door is typically very smooth and hard, which will offer a suitable substrate to attach the 5 mil copper. However, the 5 mil will be more susceptible to puncture or tearing, so if you see a potential for contact with sharp objects then it may present a concern.  You could resolve this by applying a 2 part epoxy coating that provides a more durable surface, or by opting for the thicker material.  The 22 mil will be more resistant to dents and dings and will not be punctured.  In either case, the patina design could be scratched or damaged if not adequately protected, so you would likely apply additional lacquer coating. 

In use as a furniture accent or covering a shelf, you will want to consider again, the use and potential for damage. For a decorative chest or shelf that has infrequent use, the 5 mil with the existing lacquer may suffice.  The thinner material is more pliable and will wrap around surfaces more easily and is easier to cut without specialty tools, so it is often chosen if it is safe from the potential for damage.  For frequent use, the 22 mil with additional lacquer or the 5 mil with an epoxy coating may be required. 

 Will I need to seal my patina sheets after installation?

 All of our patina sheets are created with a light application of lacquer clear coat.  This provides protection for the design after creation and will prevent changes to the design from oxidation and careful handling and is also light enough to allow for the material to be rolled for shipment. 

In some cases, this single layer is sufficient after the material is installed, but it is often the case that an additional clear coat should be applied for optimum protection.  You will want to avoid scratching the copper,  or using tape (even painter’s tape) on the decorative side of the copper, until after you have added a clear coat that will protect the copper further.

If the copper will experience frequent contact or is an area with high use/traffic, we recommend applying a two-component epoxy resin for its superior protective qualities and longevity.   The 5 mil used as a counter, table, or bar top often requires a minimum of 1/8” coating of a pourable 2 part epoxy resin.  The 22 mil will benefit from several layers of brush-on lacquer or a spray coat of our 2-part urethane resin.  If the copper installation is outdoors or near a source of intense sunlight indoors, typical lacquer coatings will degrade over time, so reapplication will be more frequent.  

 What type of adhesive should I use for my patina copper sheets?

Most often, the lightweight 5 mil patina sheets are attached to the substrate with a contact adhesive.  Popular choices include roll-on/brush-on adhesives and sprays such as 3M's Spray 90 or Super 77.  When using these, apply the adhesive to both the substrate and the copper sheet. To assist with alignment and ensure an even application, lay dowels across the width of the substrate, slightly overhanging the edge, before positioning the copper sheet on top. For detailed guidance, we invite you to watch our instructional video that demonstrates this type of installation.  In environments subject to elements of high humidity, extreme temperature, or significant temperature variations, we advise opting for a high-performance contact adhesive to accommodate such conditions. 

For the heavyweight 22 mil sheets, a heavy-duty construction adhesive like Liquid Nails is an excellent option. This type of adhesive offers more working time to adjust the fit due to its slower drying properties, can be applied to the substrate only (and not also the copper) and it's especially effective in areas where temperatures can fluctuate widely. Remember, the golden rule with any adhesive is liberal and complete application.  In using contact cement, you will want to consider that the substrate may be porous and absorb some of the adhesive, and so you will want to ensure that it is sufficiently coated, but not leaking heavily out of the side.  With Liquid Nails, contractors often recommend that it is beaded on, but then troweled out to a more even and complete coverage. To familiarize yourself with the adhesive process and ensure the best outcome, we recommend practicing with scrap materials before beginning your actual project.  We also recommend avoiding expanding glues that may push against the copper or create a foam that oozes out of the sides.

 Is it possible to bend patina sheets without harming the finish?

 The copper is often bent around the edge of counter tops or other installations with success.  While patina sheets can be bent, it requires a delicate approach to preserve the integrity of the design. The sheets are created with a protective lacquer coating, yet bending them might lead to the lacquer, and in some cases the design, flaking off.  You will want to avoid using friction on the edge of projects after bending, as that will encourage exposure of the raw copper at the edge. To shape the sheets, use a careful, hands-on method, steering clear of any sharp objects or excessive force that could scratch or dent the surface.  The 22 mil will take more efforts to bend, but often if you proceed slowly, with a bend formed with 2 X 4s and gentle effort, it can be accomplished with a minimum of damage.  If any patina does come off, you can retouch it with a bottled patina solution, or you may find that the natural copper underneath offers a complimentary aesthetic as it is. Keep in mind that certain designs may be more prone to damage when bending. To ensure the best outcome, it's recommended to practice on a small piece of scrap material before attempting to bend your main sheet.  Many times people will combine patina copper with a different sort of trim, such as wood, at the edge of a counter.

Is the design on the patina sheets painted on, and is it present on both sides of the sheet?

 The distinctive design of our patina sheets is not a result of paint.  Instead, it results from a natural process where the copper surface reacts to specialized chemical treatments, heat, and other factors. This artistic patina effect typically develops on the front surface of the sheet where the treatment is applied, as copper’s non-porous nature does not allow the patina to permeate through.

While the entire sheet may undergo color changes due to the applied heat and flame, we craft the sheets with the intention of featuring the design on the front side only. The reverse side may retain the appearance of raw copper and can show some runoff or alterations from the patination process. 

In preparation for shipment, we roll the sheets with the designed surface on the inside. This means that upon receipt, the outward-facing side will be the backside of the sheet, safeguarding the patina design you selected during transit.

 Is every sheet within a pattern identical?   

Each patina sheet we craft is one-of-a-kind, exhibiting variations that ensure its uniqueness.   While many of the elements that influence the outcome of the sheet can be controlled and remain consistent for all sheets in that pattern, there are many subtle differences that can produce variation in outcome from one sheet to another, and even within a sheet.  These factors are environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, and some are human, such as minor change in application, mixing of the chemicals, or distance of heat or torch.  When you place an order with multiple sheets, these will be created at the same time and so all sheets will be consistent and work perfectly together. If you think you will want additional material in the future, you will want to order it at the same time as your initial order. We highly recommend purchasing all required sheets simultaneously to best match the patina across all pieces.

 Can I use tape on the surface of Patina Copper Sheets?

We advise against using any tape, including those that claim to be safe for use on any surface, on the designed side of the patina copper sheets. This can potentially damage the lacquer finish or alter the patina design. To prevent any unintended effects, we recommend conducting a spot test with the tape on a scrap piece of copper first to ensure it doesn’t affect the material.  If you add lacquer or epoxy to the surface for additional protection, this may no longer be of concern.

Can I order a sample?

Yes. You can order 5" x 5" individual samples of 5 mil here or a sample packet with all of the finishes here. We do not have any 22 mil samples of the patina finishes. We can however send out small samples of raw 22 mil copper so you can see the thickness.

How soon will my order ship?

Because developing these patinas is a complex and time-consuming process, there is a 4-7 business day lead time for all patina sheets. Orders can be rushed, but there is a $45 expedited fee to speed up the lead time. The actual lead time will depend on the design, and the amount of time the process takes. Please contact us for an estimate of your particular order and the time that will be saved by this rush fee.

How are your patina sheets shipped?

They are rolled on to cores, handled with care, and packaged carefully to provide you with the best possible product. We ship both UPS and USPS.

What is your return policy for the patina sheets?

At Basic Copper, we want to be sure you are happy with your order!

If you have any questions about what to expect, please email us or phone (252-491-2812) for more information. You can also purchase samples of the various finishes here.

If you are not satisfied with your patina copper sheet order,  email us at info@basiccopper to request a return authorization number.   All patina copper sheets and products must have an RA number to be accepted.  You must also return it to us within 30 days in the same condition and packaging that it arrived in, and we will issue a refund minus a 25% restocking fee. There is also a 25% order cancellation fee. All orders of 3 or more sheets, all orders 22 mil/16oz sheets, special orders, and international orders are exempt from this policy- they are non-refundable. The buyer will be responsible for the cost of return shipping unless the problem resulted from our error. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Please ship returns insured via UPS or USPS to:
Basic Copper
Attn: Returns
8097 Caratoke HWY
Powell's Point, NC 27966