Verdigris Copper Finish

When copper, brass or bronze is exposed to the elements, it forms a beautiful green patina which can add to the overall look of these metal surfaces. You can save money on buying genuine copper, brass and bronze items by simply using paint to duplicate this lovely effect.

This technique works especially well when painting planters, pots, mirror frames, and other items that are traditionally made from these metals. It can be used to give a distinguished and classy look to common everyday items.

Step 1: Choose Your Paints

When creating a verdigris copper finish, you will need a gloss or satin finish enamel paint in a jade green shade. You’ll also need enamel paint in both bronze and gold colors.

Step 2: Assemble Your Other Painting Supplies

You will need containers to hold the paints, as well as a common household paint brush. A brush that is around an inch wide usually works well, but choose your brush based on the size of the surface to be painted. You will also need a medium sized stenciling brush also sized correctly for what you will be painting. Gilt cream in a copper shade will also be required, in addition to a polishing cloth.

Step 3: Apply the Base Coats

Be sure to properly prepare the surface before painting. Most times this will mean rubbing the surface lightly with sandpaper and then removing the dust completely, so that the paint will have better adhesion. Apply a coat of the jade green paint over the entire surface. Let dry completely.

Step 4: Apply the Metallic Faux Finish

Then, using a clean paint brush, stipple the bronze enamel paint over the entire surface. Use just the tips of the brush to apply the paint for the best results. Leave just a bit of the base coat exposed to add to the effect. Then, lightly stipple the surface with the gold enamel paint. Don’t cover the entire surface with the gold paint, but instead just use it in random patches to create a nice varied metallic look.

Step 5: Add the Green Verdigris Look

Once you have a nice metallic faux finish over the entire surface, then it is time to add the beautiful green patina of verdigris. Using a clean dry paint brush, very lightly dab the jade green paint over the surface. Don’t cover too much of the metallic surface, since natural verdigris doesn’t usually appear over the entire surface of metal objects. As you work, use the brush to gently blend some of the areas to create an interesting and realistic effect. Once you are happy with the results, let dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 6: Gilding the Surface

Using the stenciling brush, apply a little bit of copper gilt cream over the entire surface, using just the tips of the brush. You will only need to use a small amount. Then, use a soft dry cloth to buff the surface to a shine. This step will give the surface a realistic metallic look, completing the faux finish effect.

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