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Friday, April 11, 2014

Faux Patina Tutorial

Have you ever purchased a non-patina'd piece of metal work and wondered how you could give it more depth?  Or maybe you purchased some cheap electroplated resin or plastic findings and you wanted to make them look more like an expensive piece you'd pay much more for?

Anyone will tell you that a patina will add value to a piece.  The aged look of metal gives it more character, even if it's a cheap piece.  Patina makes a piece look more expensive and fetch a higher price.  This is important if you're trying to emulate an antiqued look.  Many patina tutorials I've seen so far instruct you to purchase different chemicals to speed up the aging of the metal, followed by buffing and polishing the metal so that some of its luster returns.

That's a little too tedious for me.  I use a different method.  It's cheap, simple and doesn't require me rubbing on a piece of metal until I get carpal tunnel.  Here's what you'll need:

Black Nail Polish (I like Essie)
A napkin
A Q-tip
Rubbing Alcohol
The metal findings you want to 'patina'
Clear nail polish.

That's it.  Six things, most of which I'm sure you already have laying around your house.  Now on to the process.

Step 1:
Clean the metal finding or bead with the alcohol using the Q-tip.  You want the surface to be as free of oils and dust as possible.
My untreated findings with the Essie Nail Polish

Step 2:
Paint the metal item completely with black nail polish.
Adding the polish.

Fully Blackened

Step 3:
While the polish is still wet, gently dab off or wipe off the excess polish until it only remains in the tiny cracks and corners of the metal finding.  Don't press too hard or you'll end up cleaning it all off.  Allow the item to dry for a few minutes.
Add caption

Step 4:
Apply a coat of clear nail polish.  This will seal the color on the metal and protect it from damage.  I usually use at least 2 coats.  Allow it to dry completely.  I actually apply clear polish to ALL my metal findings whether I patina them or not.  It protects against tarnishing and, if you have metal sensitivities, can prevent you from having a reaction.

The completed Faux Patina

That's all!  Tadaaaaa!


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