Having decided to try out the lead roll method for my windows I then researched the Internet looking for methods to distress the shiny appearance.
I found lots of very different advice and methods, some of which needed a chemistry degree and an industrial laboratory in your garage to complete! While others seemed more than a little dangerous!
Anyway, eventually I found this product,
......Liver of Sulphur XL Gel. This product is used in jewellery making and is perfectly safe for home and hobby use.
I read the very simple instructions on the bottle and began experimenting on various strips of the lead. Some I sanded and some I left exactly as they come.
The small grided piece is for the door and you can see the gel painted on.
You can dilute the gel or use it straight from the bottle. I decided to paint it on straight from the bottle as I thought it would go on easier and not run too much. In fact it did go on very easily but I then go a little confused. I left the gel on and watched, and watched.......
In my mind I thought I would see an immediate reaction and would have to wipe it off pretty quickly to avoid the lead darkening too quickly. Well as far as I could tell not a thing was happening.
So I decided to wipe this layer off and start again. Then there was a reaction! Phew!! My workroom smelt like a school corridor on the last day of term.....remember stink bombs? Awful, awful smell everywhere. They should warn you about this on the bottle. Yuk!
But.....the lead started oxidising little by little and after about 2 hours the results looked like this.
When the colour reaches your preferred shade you paint or rub on a corn starch or bi-carbonate of soda mixture, to stop the oxidisation.
Even with all the rubbing and wiping down the glue backing of the lead has held up well and the window seems fine and ready to install.
Here are some of my practice strips. The top one is the lead as it comes off the roll, it looks a bit bronzed but the colours are black and grey.
The second strip has been painted with black acrylic paint and then sanded.
The third strip has been sanded and then had the gel treatment.
I can see this product coming in very handy of all sorts of metals if you don't mind the smell!
They also recommend using gloves but as usual I ignore all such advice as I never intend touching the stuff. I was fine as I used a brush and baby wipes so I didn't get any on my skin. You can dunk whole items in the diluted form so I expect you should definitely wear gloves for that.
Tomorrow I am going to buy some nose clips and then I will be ready to finish the rest of the windows!!