Do you remember sitting in chemistry class back in high school and thinking to yourself, “Why do I have to know this? I’m never going to use chemistry.”
I totally remember saying this —about chemistry, algebra, geometry, English, history, physics — you get the picture. Yes, in the mind of my teenage self, life basically centered around where my next new outfit was coming from.
Now, fast forward
a few a lot of years later and chemistry class is back in session.
Only this time, the good folks over at Modern Masters have packed all of that pesky chemistry into three easy-to-use containers —and all I have to do to get this amazing blue-over-bronze patina is a quick prime, paint, and spritz.
Seriously. It’s just this simple.
Faux Antique Bronze in Three Easy Steps with Modern Masters Metal Effects
This post was created in collaboration with Modern Masters. All projects and opinions are 100% my own.
Metal Effects Patina Kit
The good news is that Modern Masters packs everything needed inside one handy kit. Yes, including stirring sticks and brushes.
All I needed to do was find the perfect piece to refinish.
So as I am rummaging through my stash of collectables being held for upcycle, low and behold, I run across a half-dozen grody old baking pans that had long since been taken out of kitchen commission.
And with the New Year organizing frenzy just around the corner, I was thrilled at the notion of turning these has-beens into stylish wanna-bees for stacking and storage.
But before we get started, the first thing I stress for all home projects is safety. And this one is no exception. For this project, the spray oven cleaner and spray oxidizing agent involve chemical reactions, so it’s time to suit up. I wear long sleeves and pants, a mask, safety glasses, and nitrile disposable gloves. Nitrile gloves are super inexpensive at the home improvement store and are made to stand up to paints and chemicals.
Grime Be Gone
Next, the containers were taken outside and sprayed down with oven cleaner. It set for a while and was then sprayed with the hose. I did this a couple of times and washed away the majority of grime, but didn’t bother to scrub the pan to 100% clean.
Just make sure to get all of the oven cleaner residue off and sand away any loose particles that the water failed to wash away.
Then the pieces were dried in the oven on low heat.
Once the pieces were throughly dry and brought back to room temperature, it was time to get the patina party started.
The Patina Party
Step One: Prime
Step one is super easy. Simply give this delicious copper-colored primer a good stirring and apply it to the piece. It’s just like priming anything else.
It is a primer so it really adheres. To EVERYTHING. So wear old clothes and work on a drop cloth.
A thin coat works better than a thick coat. I got a few paint runs when the primer was applied too heavily.
The directions say to apply two coats of primer at least 30-minutes apart. And I found that two thin coats covered beautifully.
This photo was taken immediately after the second coat was applied.
I am totally crushing over that copper color.
Step Two: Paint
After the primer has dried for at least 12 hours, thoroughly stir and apply a thin coat of paint.
The piece shown below has one coat of bronze paint.
How about that color? I loved it so much that I really didn’t want to continue with the third step.
But, for the sake of illustration, I did continue.
Just know that I do plan to mix up the finishes in the set by leaving some with this fab bronze finish. I will do a follow-up post when I get the set completed and in use.
Step Three: The Paint/Spritz Combo
After the first coat of bronze paint is thoroughly dry –usually at least 30 minutes— it’s time for the second coat/spritz combo.
A second coat of bronze paint is applied to the piece and, while the bronze paint is wet, the patina solution is immediately sprayed over the paint.
Two words of caution:
A thin to medium coat of bronze paint works better than a thick coat.
A light spritz works better than a heavy spray. On the patina nozzle, there is a twist for a stream or a spray. To get this look, use the spray and spritz a cloud mist over the piece.
Working inside a paint spray shelter, which was situated in the corner of the sunroom, I was able to create a cloud that fell onto the piece.
Once the wet bronze paint is spritzed, the chemical reaction that creates the patina begins immediately and is usually complete in 30-60 minutes. You can see exactly how it happens in this 22-second, time-lapse video that I made during the process.
Notice that this method produces a random patina over the piece that resembles a natural patina. Because the piece was lightly spritzed, the patina is heavier in some places and very light in others. The dark streaks without any blue color are signs of first-stage patina, which typically starts as a darkening of the finish with some pitting.
If you follow my posts, you have heard me repeatedly say that patina happens in layers and over time. And since this is how it occurs in nature, this is always the method I use to recreate the effect.
What If I Make a Boo-Boo?
The first piece I refinished (below), which I didn’t intend to share, really turned blue from top to bottom. And honestly, it’s a little too much for me. I share it now to say that if you do happen to over or under shoot the desired look, do not worry. Just let the piece dry and start again with Step One. In fact, I had planned to refinish this piece again until I found the stash of pans.
After the holidays, I’ll circle back to decide what I want to do with this tiered tray. It’s possible that I’ll leave it just the way it is, but for now just know that mistakes can be easily fixed. So you can relax and try lots of different kinds of techniques.
The key is to suit up and have lots of fun.
And that’s all there is to it.
The metal effects application is a great first step in transforming old bakery ware into elegant trays and containers.
The next stop is hardware for handles and feet. 🙂
I do hope you’ll stay tuned.
In fact, here’s a little peek at a another project I think I have nailed down. In the photo below, the copper piece at the top is an antique tray from Turkey. Beside it is an outdated tray from my stash. I do believe I have already figured out how to make the outdated tray look like the antique.
What do you think?
Think I can pull off a side-by-side?
Well, I’ll let you know in 2017. 🙂
In the meantime, click here for more information about Modern Masters.