Off to the store I headed to pick up a bottle of ammonia and some panty hose. Quite a combination huh? Sounds like I'm planning some sort of science experiment or worse! When I got home I grabbed a glass bowl with a tight lid, filled it about 1/3 full of ammonia, stretched the knee high over the top and placed my chain, in 12" lengths on the top, then secured the lid. I checked the first batch after 15 minutes and it wasn't as dark as I would have liked. I decided to check it in 5 minute increments after that. 21 minutes seemed to be the perfect amount of time for the color I was looking for. Before placing the chain in the bowl to fume, don't forget to wash it thoroughly with warm water and soap because the chain comes with an oily coating from the factory. This will most definitely deter the ammonia from oxidizing the brass. Once all the chain was aged I rubbed it with some Renaissance Wax to seal the patina. You can readily purchase this wax on Etsy.
I have now added another successful technique to my jewelry making arsenal. It was very fulfilling to see my chain turn out as well as it did. When it first arrived and I saw it was raw brass, I thought to myself, "What have you done?". I was certain that I had just wasted $30 on chain I wouldn't be able to use.
Try this out for yourself if you have any raw brass items such as chain, charms or connectors. It's super simple, inexpensive and gives great aged results.