Archive | April 2012

Review: Vintaj Patina Inks for Jewelry by Ranger

Earlier this week, we got in three of the new patina ink kits by brass charm leader, Vintaj. A collaboration with crafty ink giant, Ranger, they come in pre-packaged trios and retail for around $12. I picked up two of the spring-ier trios: Weathered Copper (green shades of Moss, Verdigris, and Jade) & Victorian Gable (pastels in Amethyst, Quartz, and Marine).

Vintaj claims that they can be used on all metals, not just Vintaj products. To test the claim, I applied them to silver plate, antique brass (both Vintaj brand and not), gold plate, and copper I had etched myself.

(Brass pattern wire, pre-inking.)

I set out aluminum foil with a dual purpose– it both protected my workspace and made it easy to mix the inks, which were considerably thinner than acrylics. I used two methods to apply them– both with a soft brush, and stippled on with a sponge I had cut up.

Application was very smooth– most colors went on in one smooth coat and blended very easily.

(Brass pattern wire, post-inking.)

Now, I also like bits of metal to show through, so the next step, after a very quick drying time, was to remove some of the patina from the high points. Now, when I patina sterling silver, fine silver, and copper with liver of sulfur, I use little polishing pads. For this, I needed a rougher hand– which is where my sponges came in handy. I used the scrubby side to work off the patina and let the metal shine through. Now, Vintaj sells a reliefing block for that purpose, but I gotta say, the cheaper option was perfect for me!

(Brass pattern wire, after a scrub.)
I plan on following up with the “glaze” sealant to lock the color in. Overall, I really like this product! It definitely is my choice over another metal colorant on the market, the much-touted Gilder’s Paste, made by Baroque Art. When Gilder’s Paste was new on the market, I picked up a few of the colors to try it out and was… less than impressed. It’s thick, cakey, hard to spread and blend, stinks to high heaven, and needs to dry for hours before you can polish the high points. Blech! So, in my opinion, the new inks by Vintaj & Ranger are the clear winners here.

My only criticisms are that the bottles aren’t available individually and that they didn’t stick as well on the smooth, bright silver plate blanks I tried. Things with a little bit of texture will hold the color much better. Also, the lighter colors needed two coats to cover completely– in the case of Marine, it was entirely worth it. Quartz… not so much. It was the dud color of the ones I tried– it was very streaky, and more of a milky white than a pale pink. And keep scissors handy– the little tips get clogged with dried ink very easily and need to be trimmed down occasionally.

Now, to pick up the Rusted Hardware (autumnal hues) & Antique Window (cool brights) kits for summer and fall!