Patina Sheets FAQ

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!

Should I use lightweight 5 mil or heavyweight 22 mil copper patina sheet for my project?

For a detailed description of 5 mil and 22 mil see our Copper Sheet Thickness Guide. 5 mil (36 gauge) sheets are very pliable and are easily cut with scissors. 22 mil (24 gauge/16 ounce) is quite a bit thicker and is the thickness most often used for roofing applications. It can be easily cut with metal snips. Our customers have used both 5 mil and 22 mil for backsplashes, tabletops, countertops, and bar tops. Note that when using our patina sheets for these applications, you will need an additional clear coat finish to add durability. See our Copper Sealers which may be perfect for your project. Personal preference plays a role in almost all aspects of the design and installation of counter and bar tops. In some cases, such as for a high traffic commercial bar, people will use a flood coat of a two part epoxy resin. Check out our tutorial on creating your own Copper Bartop, Countertop, or Tabletop and our Patina Sheet Photo Gallery.

If you are using our patina sheets to create a backsplash, 22 mil is the ideal thickness because it can be glued to existing drywall, and with a couple of coats of lacquer , maintain its durability. However, 5 mil can be used as well, but you should attach the copper to MDF board or another durable substrate and add several coats of lacquer. Depending on the installation process and how much wear and tear the backsplash will undergo, a seal coat of our two-part solvent polyurethane resin may be needed.

Which finish should I choose?

A waxed finish offers some light protection to the patina and is suitable when the copper is mostly free from contact. Note that if you are planning to apply a clear coat DO NOT order the waxed finish as the wax is NOT compatible with these sealants. We also offer a lacquer finish (one coat). For most projects, we recommended adding additional coats of either our Copper Sealants or a flood coat of a two part epoxy resin. Our factory-applied lacquer finish is compatible with these sealants.

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

Because 5 mil is a thin material it is usually attached using a contact-type adhesive. The brush on varieties are popular, and some others will use Spray 90 or Super 77 by 3M. The adhesive is applied to both surfaces (the substrate and the copper sheet), then dowels will be placed on top of the substrate, across the width and extending over the edge a bit, and then the copper sheet placed over the top of the dowels. See our video tutorial for a demonstration. Heavyweight 22 mil sheets allow the option of using a heavy-duty construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails as well as contact cement.

How do I remove fingerprints from my patina sheets?

It is much easier to prevent these stains than to remove them. If you do not use gloves when handling copper sheets that have not been sealed, the oil from your fingers will stain the copper. Thus when handling our patina copper sheets, if unsealed, it is important that you use gloves to avoid staining. 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! You should avoid using cleaners on our patina sheets as they may disturb and discolor the patina!

Can I bend the patina sheets?

It is fairly easy to bend the sheets, but you will want to do so very carefully to avoid damaging the design. The sheets are best sent with a sealant, and most require it.  If you do not bend the material with care, you may cause the lacquer to crack off and take the design with it.  You should avoid sharp tools, friction, and metal objects to help with the bends, and instead coax it into place as much possible with a gentle touch by hand.  If you do rub off some of the patina you can often touch it up with a bottle patina solution or leave it as is, as with many designs, the appearance of raw copper will not be unattractive.  Some of the designs are more susceptible to the design becoming damaged by the bending process, and others will fair more easily.  If you have enough material, test the bending with a small scrap piece before proceeding with your full sheet. 

Is the design a painted on?  Will the sheet have the design on both sides? 

The design on the patina sheets is not made with paints,  it is created as the copper reacts to chemical mixtures, heat, flame and other factors.  The design typically appears on the top of the sheet only, as that is where the chemical reaction takes place and the copper is not porous like fabric where the chemicals seep into it and change the coloring through the entire sheet.  The use of flames and heat may change the entire sheet, but only the front is intended to show any particular design.  The back of the sheet may be raw copper, may have run off from the design process, and may be changed from raw copper by the particular processes used in creating the design.   We are not able to create the design on both sides. 
When the copper is rolled for shipment, it is rolled with the design facing in, so from the outside you will be looking at the backside of the sheet and not the design you ordered. 

Should I order all of the material I'm going to need at the same time?

Yes. Because each piece is truly unique, you should expect some slight variations in the patina-in other words, no two pieces are exactly alike. Thus it is best to order all of the sheets you are going to need for your project at the same time.

Can I use blue painter's tape to hold the copper in place without damaging the finish?

The use of any tape or adhesive to the designed portion of the copper sheet may damage the design. Even blue non-stick painter's tape on a lacquered surface may cause changes to the design appearance and should not be used.

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 ship 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