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Faux Antique Bronze in Three Easy Steps

Faux bronze with small patches of light blue patina can be created on any paintable surface | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com
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Hello Friends,

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.

img_1502aFaux Antique Bronze in Three Easy Steps with Modern Masters Metal Effects

Faux bronze is made during a chemical reaction | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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.

Create faux bronze using this 3 step kit | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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.

Faux bronze can be created on any paintable surface | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Suit Up

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.

Always use safety gear when working with chemicals | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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. 

Faux bronze begins with a deep copper primer | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Notes:

  1. It is a primer so it really adheres. To EVERYTHING.  So wear old clothes and work on a drop cloth.

  2. A thin coat works better than a thick coat. I got a few paint runs when the primer was applied too heavily.

  3. 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.

Copper primer is the first step towards creating faux bronze | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step Two: Paint

After the primer has dried for at least 12 hours, thoroughly stir and apply a thin coat of paint.

A special bronze paint covers a copper primer in Step Two | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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.

A special kind of bronze paint covers a copper primer in Step 2 | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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:

  1. A thin to medium coat of bronze paint works better than a thick coat.

  2. 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. 

Step 3 includes a bronze paint and patina solution combo | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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. 

A table top paint spray shelter is the perfect place to create faux bronze | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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.

The Finish

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.

Faux bronze with light patches of blue patina | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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.

Faux bronze patina begins with darkening and some pitting | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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.

Faux bronze with heavy layers of blue patina | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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. πŸ™‚

I do hope you’ll stay tuned.

Faux bronze with small patches of light blue patina can be created on any paintable surface | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

 

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? 

Can the copper and patina be copied using a Modern Masters kit? |#sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Well, I’ll let you know in 2017.  πŸ™‚

In the meantime, click here for more information about Modern Masters.

 

And please…pin-button-cropped

Faux antique bronze in 3 easy steps with or without blue patina | #sponsored Modern Masters | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

 

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19 Comments

  • Reply Heather Northington December 23, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This is fantastic. I am in love with this “paint” and the beautiful effect it gives. The heavier coverage is a personal preference of mine, but honestly it looks perfect either way. This was a great tutorial as always.

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 23, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Thanks Heather! Yes, you are right –the light or heavy coverage means the product can serve a wide variety of decor preferences.

  • Reply Carolann December 23, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Wow, Susie! You made understanding the science behind this super easy to understand. I love your time lapse video too! Love the color of this patina too. I love having a brilliant scientist as a good friend lol XO

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 23, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Thanks Carolann! IDK about brilliant scientist! LOL….but thanks for the sweet compliment.

  • Reply Michelle December 23, 2016 at 7:14 am

    That was awesome to watch in the video and what a fun process. I never even took Chemistry in High School so I am happy that this company makes it easy for those of us who never learned about the process. Thanks so much for this. I love it.

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 23, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Thanks Michelle! Yep — all that’s happening in that video is the shifting of electrons from one atom to another. In the process of moving, the interaction between the two compounds creates a new one — a third — the patina.

  • Reply Toni | Small Home Soul December 23, 2016 at 9:52 am

    That turned out beautifully, even the over done blue one is awesome. I’m going to have to try that on some pieces I have!

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 23, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Toni! I look forward to seeing your pieces!

  • Reply Sue December 23, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Once again you amaze me with your approach. The time-lapse video is nice to see how the spray works and I am glad to see your spray tent. Thank you for the creative idea to use old pans and patina them to add touches of old world home decor. I like how your piece turned out and am glad to see the blue as I plan to use this color soon too.

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 23, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Sue. I’m excited to find hardware so I can use the pan on the desk for pencils and pads. I love it because the sides are so deep. Yes…the blue patina is a fabulous color and you can adjust how much blue from light to heavy so it gives you more options. Looking forward to seeing your pieces.

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 December 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    This is a great technique and I most definitely want to give it a try on a few things. I am glad I didn’t have to figure out the chemistry, lol.

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Debra! It’s super easy and can provide so many great looks.

  • Reply Michelle James December 28, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Such a cool project Susie & I just love your video!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks Micki!! Happy New Year!!

  • Reply Katrin December 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    With the bronze pieces that had chemical reaction that goes deep, would I just need to clean or is light sanding needed? What about worn silver plate bowl?

  • Reply Cristina@remodelandolacasa January 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I also love the copper color, but the final old patina with those blue under tones is awesome, Gotta find me a project where to try this! And hey, nice video. πŸ˜‰

    • Reply theChelseaProject January 4, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Christina. I am anxious to do more pieces. The blue patina is fab.

  • Reply ARod January 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Love how this pan turned out. Thanks for the great chemistry.

    • Reply theChelseaProject January 20, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks Anj!!!

    Thanks so much for your comment!