Patination oil is a white spirit based surface treatment that can be used to protect lead from lead carbonate forming.

When newly fitted lead is exposed to moisture there will be a build up of lead carbonate on its surface.  You can identify lead carbonate build up on lead as it shows as a soluble white coating.  Future rainfall will wash the lead carbonate down the roof leading to an unsightly white staining on your roof and fascias.  These streaks are unsightly, to avoid them, you’ll want to apply patination oil on the same day as you fit the lead.

Patination oil stops the lead from oxidizing when it comes into contact with moisture and rain water, maintaining a uniform look and natural lead patina.  The product should be applied to all newly applied lead cladding and  flashings that are open to the elements. Areas with high exposure should be given a second coat.

How to apply patination oil

  1.  To apply patination oil, remove any loose debris, concrete dust, leaves etc from the lead
  2.  Make sure the lead is clean and dry before you begin
  3.  Shake the patination oil tin vigorously for two minutes
  4.  Apply the patination oil with a clean soft cloth
  5.  Work in straight lines either horizontally or vertically, ensuring full coverage.


Apply patination oil as soon as possible after fitting the lead, and before the lead is allowed to get wet - it will take around an hour to dry. It’s a good idea to add a second coat when all surrounding work is finished.

How much do I need?

Patination oil is available in a variety of sizes.  1l will cover approximately 60sq metres.

It’s worth noting that patination oil includes white spirit as one of its core ingredients which is a volatile organic compound (VOC), a carbon based chemical which can evaporate at room temperature. This means that in line with current guidelines, a safe patination oil should only have a maximum of 300g/l of VOC.  This is particularly relevant if you are working on a project with environmental building certification such as LEED or BREEAM.