Ultra low tech patinas

Just in case you missed the inspiration I posted last night – you can see it here. I mentioned that my plan was to paint the filigree with acrylic paint to give it a washed shabby chic kind of look. Of course, I couldn’t leave it until later. I had to start working on it right away. Many hours, and 3 buffy reruns later – here’s what we have. I actually worked on a few other things, as I got distracted when I saw all of the unfinished projects on my work bench 🙂

First things first, I use the term patina here very, very loosely. A true patina (heat, and/or chemical) will  hold up to wear and tear, and will continue to develop and age over time. This is just paint. I have protected it with a coating of renaissance wax, which will help it keep it’s colour for a time, but do not expect this to last over the long term.  – That said I’ll tell you how it’s done.

First off, you’ll need some metal you wish to paint. The metal needs to have some detail. The trick is to get the paint in the little crevices. The paint will not stick very well to a smooth surface.

Some acrylic paint, and a somewhat firm bristled very small paintbrush.

An old t-shirt, or paper towel

A palette tray, or margarine lid (for mixing your paints)

Set aside a few pieces of inexpensive stampings (use something other than vintaj for your practice pieces)

Squeeze out a few tiny blobs of various colours of paint. For example, I had a tray, and in each section I would use a blob or two of a colour, and a blob of white. Mix your colours, but don’t necessarily mix them thoroughly. I found those pieces that showed multiple colours were quite interesting.

Using your paintbrush, pick up a small amount of paint, and stab it into the metal. Continue stabbing a very small section. Get it into all of the crevices! Once you’ve painted about a centimeter or so in diameter, take your t-shirt or paper towel, and quickly, and firmly wipe off the paint. Repeat this process until your piece is completely painted front and back.

You will find that the painted metal looks much better if it’s not completely covered. You’re going for the mottled patina look, not a straight colour.

Let this set aside for a few minutes to dry completely, then using the old t-shirt again, apply a very small amount of Renaissance Wax to seal.

Here are some closeups –

This one was primarily burnt umber, white and crimson.

Blues, greens, and white

White only.

It was a fun little project to try out, and I’m surprised at just how well the paint under the renaissance wax holds up!

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