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Metal Effects Experiments: Bronze Anything With Paint!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I've been wanting to play with Modern Masters' Metal Effects paints for ages now, so last month John surprised me with a whole box of goodies from our local scenic supply shop.

These brush-on paints contain real metal flakes, so when you spray them with the brand's special "aging solution" the paints oxidize, giving you a beautiful, real patina. The three finishes I have to try are copper, iron, and bronze.

So first up, let's bronze something, shall we?



I decided to experiment on this heavy fairy statue I've had forever. I still like it, but it's not really my style any more - so if I ruin it, no biggie.


First I spray primed the statue in flat gray, which allowed the bronze paint to cover in just one coat. The bronze paint looks amazing going on, so I had to take a picture:

Use a soft artist's brush so your brush strokes don't show; heavy brush strokes can show up later in your patina.

And I wouldn't recommend using such a complex statue; there were a million little nooks and crannies on this fairy that took me forever to reach with a tiny paint brush. Not fun.

Once the bronze paint is completely dry and cured, it's time for the patina. Quickly brush on a second coat of bronze, and while the paint is still wet, spray on the aging solution. (The instructions say you can also use a sponge or brush, but I think a spray looks the most natural. They sell a special nozzle for the solutions bottle, or you can use a little travel-size hair spray bottle, like I did.)

The amount you spray is up to you, but I really doused the thing.

And that's when the magic happens:

Within about a minute you'll see the liquid solution start to turn a chalky blue shade. The more you put on, the more opaque that teal-ish blue patina will be.



If you're like me and can't leave well enough alone, you can use a cloth to dab at the patina while it's still forming, either to move it around or take off some of the excess. After messing with it, though, I wish I'd just left it alone; I had to keep going back later to fill in the spots where I took too much off.

The good news is you CAN fill in, though: just stipple or brush more bronze paint on, and then hit it with another squirt of aging solution. (Just let it dry between coats.) That gives it a less natural, more patchwork feel, though, so I'd recommend trying to get it all done on your first pass.

Of course, since my statue has so many hard-to-reach areas I had to go back several times anyway just for those. I think I took too much off the base, but I do like the way her feet came out:


So all in all, while I'm not thrilled with my statue, I AM hugely impressed with this bronze finish. It's easy to apply, beautiful, and works like a charm. I can see using this on everything from jewelry (make wood pendants look like old metal!) to furniture accents and home decor pieces.

Plus, the paint goes a loooong way. Coating this statue barely put a dent in my 16 oz jar of paint or the aging solution, so I could easily do a dozen more statue-sized projects.



If you don't have a specialty paint shop near you then you can order Modern Masters' stuff online. Amazon currently has their bronze paint for about $24 (it retails for $28), and the aging solution in blue or green (I used blue) for only $8. The green and blue solutions also work on MM's copper paint, so you get double duty out of those, which is nice.

And since I just realized I sound like a commercial: this is not a paid review. Heh.

I'll be posting the copper patina and super fun rusty iron finish later, so stay tuned for those!

And for my fellow pinners:




Posted by Jen at 4:18 PM Labels: , ,

22 comments:

  1. I like the way you graduated the patina from the base to the wings- very awesome.

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  2. That's useful if you WANT to make more things look like they could be Weeping Angels...

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  3. So cool! I love it both plain bronze and with the patina. Question -- do you think any of the paint/patina would rub off if you made pendants and wore them?

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    1. I was wondering that too! Is it something that should be sealed?

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    2. According to Modern Masters you don't *have* to seal it, but I think they do make a sealer if you want to prevent it from rusting any further. (The patina could grow over time from the moisture in the air.) I'd definitely give it a clear coat for jewelry, since just like real rust the patina might potentially discolor your skin. The paint itself shouldn't come off at all, though.

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  4. Wow that looks amazing, I will definitely have to buy some. I'm looking forward to seeing what the others look like

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  5. Oh Jen, you are a girl after my own heart (if my husband didn't have it already ;) ). I love, and collect, fairies and could easily see yours in my home. In fact I have an old metal piece that could use some sprucing up with something just like this! I can't wait to see the others so I can decide which to do. Thanks as always for the inspiration and for sharing!

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  6. oh that looks crazy fun :D i bet it would look great on a small wall hung shelf that you put little knicknacks on

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  7. Beautiful! Hey, is there any way you could compare this statue with the seahorse you did? Personally, I thought the faux-finish paint job you did on that figurine came out AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS, so I'm wondering, if they produce similar enough results, which is the more durable and/or cost-effective DIY project?

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    1. Yes! I've actually used the copper patina Metal Effects on another, much larger, seahorse statue for exactly that comparison! I'm really curious to see what you guys think of them together, so watch for that side-by-side photo in my copper patina post - which I should have up soon.

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  8. Definitely going to have to check these out. Wish I knew these paints existed!

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  9. Wow - what a great product idea. And of course you executed it beautifully. This little fairy would look great outside - peeking out from under leaves, don't you think??

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  10. That's beautiful Jen!

    By the way, how's your neck?

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    1. Ha, it's better! But I still can't look up or to the left. :D Chiropractor tomorrow!

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    2. Ah, bummer! Let me know how it is today?

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  11. I can't wait to try this on a chipped Yoda statue that I have. I knew these products existed but I really didn't know what they were called I want to buy them. Thank you for the inspiration

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  12. Looks sooo good! You should add this to your monthly art giveaway!

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  13. I cannot wait to see the comparison post. I want to see the aged iron finish.

    Have you ever used that infused clay product? From what I understand, you mould what you want - beads, earrings etc - then bake it and the clay burns away, or melts and reforms, leaving the metal article. You're so talented that it'd be scary cool to see what you could do with it. (Bronze, silver and gold naked mohawk baby carrot jockeys for The CW Annual Ulti-Wreck Awards?)

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  14. Will it work on metal? and can you seal it? I have a stainless steel countertop on my mobile kitchen island that I would love to turn into a verdigras copper. What do you think?

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  15. That looks AMAZING! Seriously never would have guessed it wasn't actually copper under there. I have to try this out on a few things if I can get my hands on the kit.

    Which local store did you get it from? Fellow Central Floridian here and I'm a really curious where you picked it up, I really hate paying shipping.

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