Copper has always been a favorite metal. Those looking for that warm feeling and who want to save money on tile are using penny mosaic tiles for flooring and more. The floor of this rustic bathroom is covered in pennies. While it was done by a contractor, a DIY job requires the same smooth substrate or else every bump will show. The teal stained vanity has a (what else) copper bucket, handle included, for a sink. Notice the exposed copper piping faucet used here that was mentioned on Atticmag earlier this month. The antique hand-painted toilet, purchased in France, is a luxurious touch.
Pennies are also popping up on walls, counters and on the backsplash. This homeowner used pennies between the counter and raised bar. Modwalls, a high end tile source, sells sheets of actual penny mosaic tiles that can be cut and installed easily in small (or large) spaces
A sample board shows the variety of colors pennies can turn. Older pennies are better suited for decorating if you’re after patina. Between 1962 and 1982 pennies were almost pure copper. Since then, they have been made with a zinc core and thin plating of copper on the outside. For a natural patina, leave them outside in the weather for a month, or continually wet and let dry until they have turned the desired color. A green patina can be achieved by making a salt water mixture and spraying until the copper reaches the desired stage. You can also place the material in an airtight container and cover with salt overnight. A night in pool chlorine will also accomplish the green patina.
Torching is another option with the color turning gold, orange, pink, purple, dark blue, light blue then black, or they can be evenly heated in an oven. Both of these methods can be stopped by placing the pennies in the freezer or by covering them with water.
For a blue or blue-green patina, dip in vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt. Seal them a plastic bag or covered container with a small bowl of ammonia. This color can also be achieved by placing ammonia soaked paper towels sprinkled with sea salt in a container, place the pennies on top of the paper towels, then cover with additional ammonia soaked and sea salt sprinkled towels.
To achieve a black finish, use an oven cleaner, such as Easy Off. On the opposite end of the spectrum, pennies will look sparkling new after soaked in Tarn-X.
(Sources: Red Rock Contractors, Alpen Tile, Tumblr, Magpie Gemstones)
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