Etched Copper Pipe - using PnP

So I found a container that was tall and thin -didnt want too big to waste any chemical
was a plastic container from my plastic ties

Because it was plastic I was not going to heat it up so I estimated it might take about 2 to 2-1/2 hours

I loved the fact that the PnP worked so well  so I expected a really good etch
I prepped the tube by putting in a rubber stopper on one end and filled it with some art sand for weight 
I partially filled the container and then put the tube in and then filled till it was really close to the top
I put a bend mandrel in the sand just to give me something to balance and taped either side 

this held the tube in the center of the chemical while it etched 
I put in at 8:20 and I took it out at 10 pm 
If it was heated and since fresh ferric it might only take about 1-1/2 hours to etch  - I find the heat does make it more aggressive and I guess there are times you want that 
I think when I do the stainless washers again I am not going to heat it up 
and let it etch for however long it takes  and keep my eye on it this time 

soooo - I pulled it out of the etch - let it drip and drain for a minute - took paper towel and took it to the sink and washed off and put some baking soda on it to stop the etch 

Nice Etch

Just had to clean it up to see what it would look like 
so I sandblasted the PnP off and I like the effect of the sandblasting - it takes all the materials from the pipe and all the grooves  - used a bit of Penny Brite and some steel wool 

Came up really clean with very little effort or additional chemicals for cleaning

Best results so far 
Going to cut them up and make beads 


  1. I so have to try this... could you tell me how you put your design on there?

    1. I used my own designs on PnP blue see this blog spot :
      the post just before this shows how to apply pnp or see the rubber stamps

    2. PNP is a blue paper used to etch metal. You transfer the image to this blue paper with a laser printer and then you transfer to the metal with iron or heating the metal in a metal base hot plate. Looking for videos at youtube.

  2. Fabulous idea. I bought a whole mess of copper pipe a few years back and couldn't think what to do with it. I did not have a pipe cutter and cut a few pieces with my jewelers saw, which is painstaking and was unrewarding as it was plain and boring coper pipe. I am waiting rather impatiently for spring so I can get set up for soldering which I haven't done in years, but feel I need to expand. Apartment living reduces ones possibilities, so I have been working with polymer clay and sterling wire. Hail to Pinterest that brings all ideas together ;)

  3. Can anyone tell me if this weakens the pipe? I still want it to have some strength.

    1. depends on the pattern - if its got a lot of deep etchings it can create week points but I found its still pretty strong

  4. Does etching change the sound of the struck tube?? (thinking of chimes)

  5. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to know more about the soldering copper pipe I think this is the right place for you!

  6. Where can I buy the PNP? Thank you please tell me!

  7. What solution did you use . Thank you I’m very confuse with what type of solution to use

  8. What did you use as a resist? Is pnp ferris acid? Would nitric acid work?

  9. Hola
    acido muriatico y agua oxigenada al 2 x 1 2 partes de acido 1 parte de agua oxigenada tiempo de grabado 15 a 20 minutos

  10. Beautiful, and inspiring! Using 1.5" copper fittings and wooden dowels for exposed elements on a bed frame and need some way to add a complimentary design to copper, so they don't look like ordinary plumbing fixtures.