How To Create a Faux Oxidized Copper Finish
In this video tutorial company co-founder, Rosanne will show you how to layer a few colors and textures to create an authentic-looking oxidized copper finish.
Step 1) Paint with Leather Bound
Start by applying a coat of Leather Bound. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but when you’re working with metallic creams you’ll get a more opaque finish with less coats when you start with a piece that is similar in color to your metallic cream.
Step 2) Apply a textured, metallic layer
To begin our faux oxidized copper look, we want to create a shimmery metallic base, just like real copper. To do this we’re going to use Belt Buckle metallic cream. Since oxidized copper also has a lot of texture to it, we recommend mixing Texture Powder with your Belt Buckle in a 1:1 ratio, then dabbing it on with a paint brush to create randomized texture.
Now, let your piece dry for approximately 12 hours at this stage.
Step 3) Add some metallic variation
To give your metallic base even more variation, try adding a few dabs of Lucky Penny (copper), and Pocket Watch (gold) metallic creams and blending them in with a slightly damp rag. Since this is just your base coat it doesn’t have to look perfect!
Step 4) Oxidize!
Now that you’ve given your piece a copper finish, it’s time to oxidize it! This is really the fun part, but it can get a little bit messy so if you don’t want to get paint under your nails, make sure you wear gloves.
You can play around with mixing colors until you’re happy with the green you’ve created, but if you want to replicate the color we’ve used exactly, mix 1.5 parts Tropical Cocktail, 1 part Fresh Mustard, and 2 parts Simplicity. You won’t be going for full, opaque coverage with this step, so you won’t need to mix up much.
It’s also a good idea to add some color variation in this step. We used our custom green mixture as well as the color, Bliss. You might want to pick two or three green/turquoise variations!
Once you’re happy with your green, use a paint brush to dab a bit randomly all over your piece, then use a slightly damp rag to blend it in. Experiment with using a few different techniques like wiping, swirling, and dabbing to see what you like best. You can really have a lot of fun and customize this part to make it your own! Make sure you create lots of variation so that the shimmery copper layer beneath shows through more in some areas than others.
Step 5) Let your colors run
Use a spray bottle to gently mist your piece with water. Letting the colors run and blend will really make your finish look naturally aged, as if it’s been weathered by years of rain. You’ve got time to play with this step, so try alternating between spraying and using your cloth to dab the paint until you’re happy with how it looks.
For high traffic or outdoor pieces you can use wax or Tough Coat to seal your work after it’s dry, but to keep the matte finish of real oxidized copper, we recommend leaving it as is.
The finished look
Find these products at your local retailer
If you would like to try this technique for yourself, stop by our store locator and call your local retailer for availability. If you do not have a local retailer, you can also find these products in our online shop.
Did you enjoy our video tutorial? Make sure to Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get access to all our videos!